US loses interest in FTA with Ecuador

            The chances for a short term conclusion to trade negotiations between the U.S. and Ecuador were handed a major setback last week, when the national government decided to revoke its operating contract with Occidental Petroleum and seize $1 Billion of its assets.  This action was taken after the energy ministry ruled that the company had acted improperly when it transferred 40% interest in its oil fields to EnCana, a Canadian oil company.