"The United States has traditionally had close relations with Ecuador, yet tensions in the U.S.-Ecuador relationship have surfaced in recent years as the left leaning government of President Rafael Correa (2007-present) has objected to U.S. influence in the region which it has labeled 'imperialist.' Nevertheless, the United States is Ecuador's largest trade partner and has extended trade preferences to Ecuador under the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) since the legislation's enactment in 1991. The ATPA provides unilateral preferential access to the U.S. market for certain products in order to reduce dependence on the illegal drug trade, although the Correa government in late June 2013 'renounced' its participation in the program. For additional information on the consideration of trade preferences for Ecuador under the Andean Trade Preferences Act by the 113th Congress, see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RS22548, 'ATPA Renewal: Background and Issues', by M. Angeles Villarreal. This report provides a brief background on political and economic conditions in Ecuador under President Correa, and examines current U.S. relations with Ecuador. It provides context for recent developments such as the asylum request reportedly made to Ecuador by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden who is wanted on espionage charges in the United States for release of top secret documents about U.S. surveillance programs."
CRS Report for Congress, R43135