More information about Ecuador is available on the Ecuador Country Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States first appointed a consul to Guayaquil (then part of Gran Colombia) in 1825. Following Ecuador’s independence, the two nations signed a Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Navigation and Commerce in 1839 and established full diplomatic relations in 1848. The U.S. Legation in Quito was elevated to the status of an Embassy in 1942. The United States and Ecuador share a history of partnership and cooperation, with mutual interests in economic prosperity, democratic governance, regional security, environmental sustainability and protection, and academic exchanges. With one of the largest American citizen “expat” populations in the world, the welfare, safety, and protection of U.S. citizens in Ecuador are the highest priorities and mission of the Department of State. The United States supports the Government of Ecuador’s determination to strengthen democratic institutions, counter transnational organized crime, and increase economic prosperity while respecting the rights of the people of Ecuador.
President Biden sent his very first presidential delegation in May to Ecuador to celebrate the inauguration of President Guillermo Lasso, and to congratulate the people of Ecuador on free and fair elections. The delegation, led by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, affirmed our shared
democratic values and our commitment to working together to addressing the challenges and opportunities before our two nations.
A bipartisan delegation of U.S. Senators visited Quito in July and met with President Lasso and officials of the Government of Ecuador, the National Assembly, business leaders, and civil society organizations to discuss the environment, trade, economic, and migration issues, as well as narcotrafficking and security challenges; and to demonstrate the commitment of the United States to enhancing the bilateral relationship.
Ecuador shares the U.S. concern over narcotrafficking and the activities of illegal armed groups, particularly along Ecuador’s northern border with Colombia. The United States and Ecuador have signed several agreements and established new programs to enhance counternarcotics and law enforcement cooperation. U.S.-Ecuadorian military relations are also expanding through training, assistance, and the reestablishment of an Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Quito. Additionally, the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs provides counternarcotics and counter-transnational organized crime capacity building assistance, totaling more than $27 million in bilateral assistance since the program restarted in2018.
Ecuador, an original proponent and signatory to the Quito Process, remains committed to assisting the social and economic integration of Venezuelans in response to the regional migration and refugee challenges caused by the political and humanitarian crises in Venezuela. Ecuador is also an active observer to the Lima Group and a member of the International Contact Group on Venezuela. The United States provided over the past four years more than $161 million in humanitarian assistance to support Venezuelan migrants in the country and Ecuadorean host communities.
After initially experiencing some of the worst COVID-19 infection and death rates anywhere in the world, Ecuador worked diligently to stabilize the health system and the effects of the virus on its population. Since coming into office, President Lasso’s government has implemented a successful national vaccination campaign. The United States is proud to partner with the people and Government of Ecuador during this crisis. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have stood in solidarity with the people of Ecuador by providing more than $27 million in assistance, including more than $25 million in U.S. Department of State and USAID funding, and more than $2.5 million in U.S. Department of Defense COVID-19 supplemental assistance, in addition to our donation of two million doses of the Pfizer vaccine this July. Ecuador benefited from medical equipment and personal protective equipment donations; technical advice and funding to make improvements to its medical and public health systems; funds to purchase rapid test kits; help for refugees, migrants, and host communities; and, assistance for economic reactivation.
U.S. Assistance to Ecuador
U.S. assistance in Ecuador is designed to strengthen the rule of law and civil society; increase government transparency; modernize government participation in capital markets and infrastructure development; promote broader access to economic opportunity for entrepreneurs (especially women); improve citizen security; counter illicit trafficking and transnational organized crime; combat gender-based violence; defend fundamental freedoms and human rights; promote academic exchanges and the teaching of English; conserve biodiversity; and mitigate the risk and impact of natural disasters. The United States also provides humanitarian assistance through international and local organizations to help Ecuador protect and provide services to refugees, migrants, and other vulnerable populations.
Coordination on enforcement efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and plans for capacity building for Ecuadorian maritime inspectors are ongoing. Through the State Department’s Global Defense Reform
Program, a U.S. cyber-security advisor supports the Ministry of Defense’s Joint Cyber Defense Command to provide direct cyber security and policy advisory support. After signing a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Ecuador in 2019 to renew cooperation, USAID reestablished an in-country presence in 2020 for the first time since 2014. The two countries signed the bilateral Development Objectives Assistance Agreement (DOAG) that will invest $62.5 million over five years in environmental and democracy and governance programming.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States is Ecuador’s principal trading partner. Bilateral goods trade between the countries totaled more than $10 billion in 2020. Major U.S. exports to Ecuador include petroleum products, machinery, computers and electronic equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, transportation equipment, and cereals and grains. U.S. imports from Ecuador include crude oil, shrimp and prawns, bananas and plantains, cocoa, and cut flowers (particularly roses). In June, Ecuador re-signed the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States, also known as the ICSID Convention. Ecuador had terminated its bilateral investment treaty with the United States (among many others) in 2017. Ecuador and the United States signed a new Protocol on Trade Rules and Transparency in December 2020 – a limited-scope, four-chapter update to their 1990 Trade and Investment Council (TIC) Agreement.
Direct investment by the U.S. in Ecuador is led by the manufacturing, wholesale, and retail sectors. In 2019, total U.S. foreign direct investment (stock) in Ecuador stood at $619 million.
Ecuador has been fully dollarized since 2000. Ecuador negotiated a $6.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the International Monetary Fund in 2020. President Lasso’s government is implementing a comprehensive reform program aimed at modernizing the economy, expanding employment, and paving the way for strong, sustained, and equitable growth in the wake of the pandemic. These pro-prosperity reforms and collaborative relationships with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are geared towards strengthening the fiscal position and improving competitiveness.
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, Inter-American Development Bank, and World Trade Organization. Ecuador ended its participation in the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) in 2018 and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in 2019. Ecuador announced its withdrawal from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in 2019.
Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
The United States maintains an embassy in Quito and a consulate general in Guayaquil, Ecuador. More information on the U.S. diplomatic presence in Ecuador can be found on the website for the embassy and consulate. 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 presently out of 2101 L Street, N.W., 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: