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US Needs to Counter China Trade Influence in Ecuador, Ways And Means Chair Says

The U.S. should do more to address China’s growing trade influence in Ecuador and throughout Latin America, Rep. Jason Smith, the chair of the House Way and Means Committee, said during a March 15 visit to Ecuador. Smith, R-Mo., told Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso and members of his Cabinet that he is concerned about the country’s “expanding trade ties” with China.

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The leaders spoke about how both countries “can become less dependent on China” by building "resilient" supply chains in the Western Hemisphere, Smith said. “The Biden Administration should seize opportunities to engage with Ecuador and other willing partners in the Americas and around the world to roll back Chinese influence.”

Smith also said Ecuador’s tariff and import licensing regime “make it very difficult” for U.S. beef and pork producers to export to the country, “There are opportunities to strengthen our relationship with Ecuador for the benefit of American workers, farmers, small businesses, and our national security,” Smith said, adding that he wanted to visit Ecuador as his first international trip as Ways and Means chairman “because the U.S.-Ecuador relationship is a high priority.”