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Dem Rep.: No Trade Deal for Ecuador if Snowden Asylum

Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) told The Hill that Ecuador’s trade deal with the US would be in jeopardy if they were to offer asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.  

“There’s been issues about Ecuador all along,” said Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee trade panel. “And if they do this, there’s no basis for even discussing it.”

Ecuador was hoping to renew and extend a trade relationship with the US to help their farmers grow flowers and broccoli instead of coca leaves. The Andean Trade Preference Act expires at the end of the month and would have to go through the Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance for approval. 

“But Levin said that deal could be threatened if leftist President Rafael Correa takes in Snowden, who is fleeing a U.S. extradition request after disclosing classified information on the NSA’s secret surveillance programs. “

But President Correa didn’t seem too worried. “Ecuador puts its principles above its economic interest,” said Ricardo Patiño, his foreign minister, defending their decision to consider asylum for Snowden “We take care of the human rights of the people.”

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