June 27,2013

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch Statement on Ecuador Trade Preferences

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement today after Ecuador announced its intent to waive its trade preferences under the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) as deliberations continued on whether the nation would grant Edward Snowden asylum:

“For many reasons I have grave misgivings about renewing the Andean Trade Preference Act for Ecuador.  Ecuador has repeatedly violated its international trade commitments and continues to show a disregard for the rule of law.  A recent USTR report details numerous legal developments in Ecuador that call into question its commitment to free trade and investment policies, including actions to eliminate their Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), a continued lack of enforcement of intellectual property rights, tariffs that exceed World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments failure to abide by arbitral awards, and a number of regulatory barriers that limit market access for U.S. exports in a number of sectors. I would encourage the Administration to act swiftly and accept the Ecuadorian government’s request to be removed from the ATPA and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programs.”

Earlier today, Ecuador Communications Minister Fernando Alvarez, expressed the country’s interest in being removed from trade preference programs saying, "Ecuador gives up, unilaterally and irrevocably, the said customs benefits.” Both the GSP and ATPA include provisions that “an expression by such a country of its desire” to be designated as a beneficiary country may be considered by the President in determining whether to extend benefits.