Top Ecuador FTA Negotiator Resigns

More fall out from the Ecuador-Oxy clash: things went from bad to worse for Ecuador-US Free Trade negotiations when Ecuador’s Minister of Finance, Jorge Illingworth and his successor, Manuel Chiriboga both resigned. Both cited dismal short-term prospects for the stalled Ecuador-US Free Trade negotiations as the principle reason.

The US chopped off talks two weeks ago after President Alfredo Palacios terminated US-based Occidental Petroleum’s drilling rights on May 16. Talks had been "delayed" since March when the Ecuadorian congress passed a new Hydrocarbon Law that forces corporations to give up a fairer share of their exorbitant profits.

Chiriboga, Ecuador’s chief FTA negotiator was named to replace Illingsworth as Finance Minister on Friday. However, he resigned the post on Monday, parroting his predecessor’s reasons. "I’ve come to the conclusion that the best move for me is to resign from the job offered to me."

Chiriboga opened his own blog on blogspot about a year ago, inviting a narrow range of opinion from the 10% of Ecuadorians who have access to the internet.