Ecuadoran President Guillermo Lasso stated, on Sunday, that talks to achieve a free-trade agreement with Mexico have reached a “dead end.”

A free-trade agreement of this type would have served as a stepping stone for Ecuador to join the Pacific Alliance, a larger trade bloc.

However, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador “has told me that the banana and shrimp producers in Mexico do not want Ecuadorian shrimp and plantains or bananas arriving,” Lasso stated. “We’ve reached a dead end.”

Ecuador cautioned in December that signing a free-trade agreement with Mexico would be “difficult” unless it included shrimp and bananas, its main exports after petroleum.

In an interview later publicized by his government, Lasso told a local reporter that the failure to reach a trade agreement with Mexico is “not so important” because Ecuador has broadened and increased trade talks with other countries.

It is worth noting that Mexico is a founding member of the Pacific Alliance, along with Chile, Colombia, and Peru.

Lasso stated that Ecuador wanted membership in the Pacific Alliance “to gain access to Asian markets,” but “now we are doing so directly,” stressing that Ecuador is anticipated to clinch a free-trade agreement with China soon.

Ecuador is also in talks with South Korea, Canada, Costa Rica, and the United States over trade.