Biden: US Looking to Strengthen Relationship with Ecuador

By Aamer Madhani and Joshua Goodman

“[Lasso] needs help and the U.S. is in a position to provide some,” said AS/COA's Eric Farnsworth to the Associated Press.

With Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso by his side, President Joe Biden said Monday the U.S. is looking to expand and strengthen the U.S. relationship with one of its staunchest allies in South America and a country that’s getting plenty of attention from China.

Lasso’s visit to Washington comes as his tiny nation is on the verge of completing a trade agreement with China, the United States’ strongest economic competitor. China this year surpassed the United States as Ecuador’s top trading partner on non-petroleum goods. […]

Eric Farnsworth, a vice president of the Council of Americas in Washington, said the U.S. would be wise to provide meaningful assistance to Ecuador, which he described as a “strong democracy in a troubled neighborhood,” whether it’s from criminal gangs in Colombia or ongoing unrest in Peru.

“He needs help and the U.S. is in a position to provide some,” said Farnsworth, who nonetheless thinks it is too early for the U.S. to commit to a free trade agreement. “Hopefully he will return to Quito with more than just praise.”…

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