U.S. Relations With Ecuador

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Fact Sheet
August 31, 2016

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 combating narco-trafficking, reducing poverty, fostering Ecuador's economic development, increasing trade, promoting academic exchanges, and addressing environmental conservation and biodiversity. The protection of American citizens and U.S. interests remains a top mission priority.

While U.S.-Ecuador relations have been strained at times over the past decade, most notably when the Ecuadorian Government declared the then-U.S. Ambassador persona non-grata in 2011 in response to the alleged confidential cables released by WikiLeaks, bilateral engagement between the United States and Ecuador has steadily increased in recent years.  Ecuadorian Ambassador to the United States Francisco Borja arrived in Washington April 2015 and U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Todd Chapman arrived in Quito January 2016, providing further impetus to expanded bilateral cooperation.

Ecuador shares U.S. concern over narco-trafficking and the activities of illegal armed groups. The government has maintained Ecuador virtually free of coca production since the mid-1980s, and is working with U.S. support to combat money laundering and the transshipment of drugs and chemicals essential to the processing of cocaine. Ecuador also gives priority to combating child labor and trafficking in persons.

U.S. Assistance to Ecuador

U.S. assistance in Ecuador, though limited since USAID departed Quito in 2014, is designed to strengthen the rule of law and civil society, improve citizen security, counter illicit trafficking, combat gender based violence, promote academic exchanges, conserve biodiversity, mitigate risk and impact of natural disasters, and address climate change. Following the April 16, 2016 earthquake that hit Ecuador’s north-central coast, the United States provided over $5.5 million in official disaster assistance.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Aside from the fossil fuel trade, 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). The two countries have a bilateral investment treaty in force since 1997. 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. Ecuador is also a member of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) and of the United Nations of the South (UNASUR).

Bilateral Representation

The current Chargé d'Affaires for Ecuador is Todd C. Chapman; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Ecuador maintains an embassy in the United States at 2535 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (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: Ecuador
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 Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information