Chevron Statement in Response to Sanchez Testimony
In her testimony before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade earlier today, Congresswoman Sanchez mischaracterized Chevron's motivation for asking Congress to differentiate Ecuador in any extension of Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) beyond its expiration at year end.
Chevron is providing the following statement to be clear on its position on U.S. trade preference programs in general and Ecuador in particular.
"Chevron acknowledges that the people of Ecuador's Amazon region confront real hardships, but these hardships are the responsibility of the Ecuadoran Government not Chevron. It's time that Ecuador Government and its national oil company, Petroecuador, step up to their obligations to the people of the Oriente. At the same time, Ecuador's judicial system has come under scrutiny by a number of international agencies, including the United Nations and the International Bar Association, for corruption and its lack of the rule of law.
Chevron is a strong supporter of all U.S. trade preference programs that promote trade to help developing counties diversify their economies, and help lift people out of poverty. Experience has shown, however, that U.S. preference policy can be improved to ensure it supports longstanding U.S. goals to promote good governance and does not reward governments that seek to diminish the rule of law.
With respect to Ecuador, Chevron believes the government continues to enjoy ATPA trade preferences despite its inappropriate behavior in Chevron's long-standing environmental dispute with Ecuador over responsibility for environmental impact in the country's Amazon region and, more broadly, its efforts to undermine the rule of law and investment protections for U.S. companies.
More specifically, Chevron believes there should be some consequence to Ecuador for flouting the standards prescribed in the (ATPA on investment disciplines, intellectual property and investor protections, and that Congress should differentiate Ecuador in any extension of ATPA beyond its expiration at the end of this year. For instance, Congress could consider:
- Denying benefits that flow primarily to the state of Ecuador;
- Clearly noting that Ecuador's actions call into question its commitment to meeting ATPA's standards and heeding previous Congressional and Administration concerns; and,
- Requiring comprehensive, periodic reporting every six months on Ecuador's operation under ATPA.
Chevron remains fully committed to supporting U.S. trade preference programs that are successfully helping to lift people out of poverty around the world, but the integrity of these programs must be protected by holding beneficiary countries accountable to delivering on their obligations under these preference programs."
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