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 and Ecuador signed a Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Navigation and Commerce in 1839 and established full diplomatic relations in 1848. A U.S. Consul had served Guayaquil since 1825. In 1942, the Department of State elevated the U.S. Legation in Quito to the status of an embassy. The United States and Ecuador share a history of partnership and cooperation, with mutual interests in economic prosperity, democratic governance, regional security, and environmental sustainability and protection, among other areas. With a large American citizen resident population, the welfare, safety, and protection of U.S. citizens in Ecuador remain the highest priorities and mission of the Department of State.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield led the U.S. delegation to the May 2021 inauguration of President Guillermo Lasso. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Quito in October 2021 in his first trip to South America. He met with President Lasso and officials of the Government of Ecuador, the National Assembly, business leaders, and civil society organizations. Secretary Blinken delivered remarks on Making Democracy Deliver for the Americas and discussed trade, economic, and migration issues, as well as narcotrafficking and security challenges, demonstrating the commitment of the United States to enhancing the bilateral relationship. In May 2022, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden met with President Lasso, Ecuadorian First Lady Maria de Lourdes Alcivar de Lasso, and civil society organizations in Quito. She discussed environmental, humanitarian, and migration issues, as well as efforts to strengthen regional democracy.
The United States and Ecuador collaborate to address narcotrafficking and the activities of illegal armed groups, particularly along Ecuador’s northern border with Colombia. Our countries have signed several instruments and established programs to enhance counternarcotics and law enforcement cooperation. U.S.-Ecuadorian military relations remain strong, with U.S. offers of 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 $31 million in bilateral assistance since 2018.
A signatory of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration at the 2022 Summit of the Americas, Ecuador was an original proponent and signatory to the Quito Process. Ecuador remains committed to assisting the social and economic integration of Venezuelan refugees in response to the political and humanitarian crises in Venezuela. Since the start of the Venezuelan migration crisis in 2017, the U.S. government has provided more than $221 million in humanitarian and development assistance for the more than 500,000 Venezuelan refugees and migrants and their host communities in Ecuador.
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. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has stood in solidarity with the people of Ecuador by providing more than $51.8 million in COVID assistance, in addition to donating two million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in July 2021. The United States provided medical and personal protective equipment; technical advice and funding to improve Ecuador’s medical and public health systems; funds to purchase rapid test kits; help for refugees, migrants, and host communities; and assistance for economic reactivation. At the height of the pandemic, the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) donated 250 life-saving ventilators and supported the Government of Ecuador’s national vaccination campaign by helping to administer over 1.5 million vaccine doses, mostly to underserved populations in rural areas.
U.S. Assistance to Ecuador
U.S. assistance serves 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; fight corruption; 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. Through USAID, the U.S. government provides food assistance, health services; personal protective equipment; water, sanitation, and hygiene services; as well as support for disaster risk reduction, humanitarian coordination, and information management during the pandemic.
The U.S. government also provides assistance to related to seascape conservation, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF), ocean plastic pollution, sustainable forests management, forest carbon sequestration, economic reactivation for marginalized populations, and renewable energy.
Coordination on enforcement efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and plans for capacity building for Ecuadorian maritime inspectors continues between the United States and Ecuador. Through the State Department’s Global Defense Reform Program, a U.S. advisor supports the Ministry of Defense’s Joint Cyber Defense Command to provide cyber defense 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 Objective Grant Agreement (DOAG) that will invest $62.5 million over five years in environmental, democracy, and governance programming.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States remains Ecuador’s principal trading partner. Bilateral goods trade between the countries totaled more than $13.1 billion in 2021. 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 August 2021, 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 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.
The manufacturing, wholesale, and retail sectors lead direct investment by the United States in Ecuador.
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 strengthen the country’s fiscal position and improve competitiveness.
Ecuador’s Membership in International Organizations
Ecuador and the United States belong to several 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. Ecuador joined the Alliance for Development in Democracy in June 2022. Ecuador was elected to serve on the United Nations Security Council beginning in 2023 for a one-year term.
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:
CIA World Factbook Ecuador Page
USAID Ecuador Page
History of U.S. Relations With Ecuador
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