Treaties require approval in the National Assembly for their entry into force.
The trade agreements that Ecuador signed this year with Costa Rica and China were suspended, after last Wednesday the president of the South American country, Guillermo Lasso, decreed the cross death and dissolved the National Assembly.
On March 1, Lasso signed with his Costa Rican counterpart, Rodrigo Chaves, a Commercial Association Agreement between both countries; while last week a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China was signed.
“One of the big decisions was the signing of the trade agreement with China and that can only be ratified by the Assembly. So that that will not be possible until there is a new Assembly“, said the Minister of Government, Henry Cucalón, at a press conference.
For these agreements to come into force, they must have a favorable opinion from the Constitutional Court and be approved by the National Assembly, but when the latter is dissolved, they will have to wait for the installation of the next Parliament.
The possession of the new assembly members will take place after early elections are held in August, and they will be the ones who will be able to give the go-ahead. Subsequently, the governments of both countries must ratify it.
The Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries, Julio José Prado, said that, for now, the trade agreement with Costa Rica has already been sent to the Constitutional Court for its opinion.
Regarding the treaty with China, on the day it was signed, Lasso stressed that it opened “a market of 1,400 million consumers.”
According to the Ecuadorian government, this FTA will allow the 99.6% of Ecuadorian exports enter the Chinese market with 0% tariff, a reduction that will be made gradually. Currently, that Asian country is the first destination for non-oil and non-mining Ecuadorian shipments.
In addition to the products that are currently exported from Ecuador —the main one is shrimp—, other new ones will be added, especially from the food sector, such as dairy products, pork, chicken, pineapple, mango, blueberries, quinoa, processed foods, fresh and canned fruits, stevia, among others.
For its part, the agreement with Costa Rica will allow preferential access for 96% of Ecuador’s current exports to that Central American country, according to the Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries.
Among what Ecuador could send to Costa Rica are paper, steel wire, textiles, appliances, electrical appliances, detergents, plastics, chemicals, boards, pasta, medicines, juices, fruit preparations and jams, wood products and construction, as well as canned sardines, tuna and shrimp.