Irene Estefanía González / Inter-American Dialogue

On May 3, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted Ecuador’s Ambassador to the US, Francisco Carrión, and US Ambassador to Ecuador, Todd C. Chapman, for the first edition of Ambassador Dialogues. The discussion was moderated by Margaret Myers. The Ambassador Dialogues series brings together current US ambassadors in Latin America with their Latin American counterparts in Washington, DC for an open conversation on the state of bilateral relations.

Both ambassadors began by applauding the diplomatic relationship between the US and Ecuador. Ambassador Chapman noted that this relationship would persist due to many converging points of interest between the two countries. Chapman also noted that, according to Latinobarómetro, Ecuadorians have the second highest positive reaction to the United States in Latin America, and believes that relations between the two countries are favorable. This suggests that US projects in Latin America, such as USAID and Peace Corps, are well received by the population. Chapman noted the importance of traveling around the country as ambassador in order to continue fostering these exchanges and positive relationships throughout all of Ecuador.

Ambassador Carrión then spoke about the importance of trade between the two countries and cautioned that China was filling a void that the United States had failed to fill. He also spoke about the significance of strengthening the Ecuadorian dollar and how improving political stability was playing a role in that. Ambassador Chapman added that political risk in Ecuador had caused a plateau in trade relations between the two countries in the past but agreed that Ecuador was making progress in lowering that risk. However, Chapman reiterated a warning spelled out by Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about being dependent on China for investments. 

Overall, both ambassadors agreed that it was important to maintain a “frank and sincere” line of communication between the two countries and that they are looking forward to working together to promote the bilateral relationship between Ecuador and the United States.