U.S. Relations With Ecuador

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Fact Sheet
August 1, 2018

More information about Ecuador is available on the Ecuador Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations with Ecuador in 1848 following its withdrawal from its federation with Colombia. The United States and Ecuador share a history of partnership and cooperation, and have mutual interests in economic prosperity, democratic governance, regional security, and academic exchanges. The protection of American citizens and U.S. interests remains the top mission priority.

Since his inauguration in May 2017, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has expressed interest in improving the bilateral relationship with the United States and expanding cooperation in areas of mutual interest. Vice President Mike Pence visited Ecuador in June 2018, the first visit of a U.S. Vice President since 1987.

The Moreno administration has taken concrete steps to fight corruption, bolster security, remove restrictions on civil society, encourage free press, and strengthen democratic governance.

Ecuador shares U.S. concern over narco-trafficking and the activities of illegal armed groups. Ecuador’s northern border experienced an increase in violence in 2018, with a narcoterrorist group carrying out attacks and kidnappings that led to the death of two journalists and their driver, two civilians, and several military personnel operating in the area. The United States and Ecuador have expanded law enforcement and security cooperation, including through the invitation by the Ecuadorian government for the United States to reestablish an Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Quito.

U.S. Assistance to Ecuador

U.S. assistance in Ecuador is designed to strengthen the rule of law and civil society, increase government transparency, improve citizen security, counter illicit trafficking, combat gender-based violence, defend fundamental freedoms, promote academic exchanges and the teaching of English, conserve biodiversity, and mitigate the risk and impact of natural disasters.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States is Ecuador's principal trading partner. Major U.S. exports to Ecuador include petroleum products, machinery, computers and electronic equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, transportation equipment, and cereals and grains. Ecuador benefits from duty-free entry into the United States for many of its products under the Generalized System of Preferences. U.S. imports from Ecuador include crude oil, shrimp and prawns, bananas and plantains, cocoa, and cut flowers (roses). Ecuador cancelled 17 of its bilateral investment treaties (BIT) in May 2017, including its treaty with the United States. The cancellation of the U.S.-Ecuador BIT went into effect in May 2018. The Moreno administration has expressed interest in negotiating a new BIT, as well as seeking a commercial trade agreement with the United States. U.S. direct investment in Ecuador is led by the manufacturing and wholesale/retail sectors.

Ecuador's Membership in International Organizations

Ecuador and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Although Ecuador remains a member of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), it has taken more independent positions during the past year. Ecuador is a member of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which has its headquarters in Ecuador.

Bilateral Representation

Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Ecuador’s embassy in the United States at 2535 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 suffered substantial damage due to a fire in late 2017. Embassy operations continue out of 2101 L Street, NW, Suite 440, Washington, DC 20037 (tel. 202-234-7200).

More information about Ecuador is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Ecuador Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Ecuador Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Ecuador Page
History of U.S. Relations With Ecuador
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Country Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel Information