From the Document: "Ecuador is a small, ethnically and geographically diverse country of 17.5 million inhabitants located in South America between Colombia and Peru (see 'Figure 1'). President Guillermo Lasso of the conservative Creating Opportunities (CREO) party took office for a four-year term in May 2021. He sought to build on the accomplishments of his predecessor, President Lenín Moreno (2017-2021), who implemented liberal political and economic reforms and pursued closer ties with the United States. Like Moreno, Lasso faces resistance from some sectors of the population, including the Indigenous leadership, and a divided legislature. Issues of broad interest to Congress include U.S. trade and investment with Ecuador, counternarcotics and environmental cooperation, and Ecuador's relationship with China. [...] For some Members of Congress, China's economic engagement with Ecuador has raised concern. In early 2022, Ecuador announced the start of negotiations for a free-trade agreement with China, which are expected to be finalized by year's end. Congress may seek to influence the Biden Administration's policy toward Ecuador through tools such as the appropriations process and oversight hearings."
CRS In Focus, IF11218
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/