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U.S. Improving Ties with Ecuador After Assange Expelled

May 15, 2019

Now that Ecuador has expelled Julian Assange from its embassy in London, the Trump administration is opening a “new chapter of cooperation” with the South American government.

USAID Administrator Mark Green will join Minister of Foreign Affairs José Valencia in Ecuador on Wednesday in signing a memorandum of understanding to work together on a series of economic and democracy initiatives. They include emergency response to natural disasters, economic development, environmental coordination and strengthening democratic institutions...

Eric Farnsworth, a former State Department official who is now a vice president of the Council of the Americas in Washington, said there is “a lot of underbrush that has to be worked out before they can seriously talk about a trade agreement,” but emphasized that Moreno has helped reorient his government’s perspective so that this kind of discussion is even possible.

“Does this translate yet to concrete shifts, trade agreements, increased trade, investments in certain sectors, I don’t know that we can say the answer to that is yes,” Farnsworth said. “But the body language has clearly shifted.”

David Lewis, vice president of Manchester Trade Ltd., which has been working with Ecuadorian exporters in food and beverage, agriculture and other industry groups to take advantage of new relations with the United States, said Moreno has helped turn around 10 years of stagnation...

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