NU Online News Service, June 14, 4:45 p.m. — Washington
Insurance companies are applauding what is being termed a “breakthrough” in efforts to bring China into the World Trade Organization.
The U.S. Trade Representative announced last week that disagreements between the United States and China on insurance and agricultural issues have been resolved.
Sy Sternberg, chairman of New York Life Insurance Company, New York, praised U.S. and Chinese negotiators for their leadership.
“By their actions, they have sent a clear, strong signal that China and the United States will work cooperatively to enable China to become a full member of the WTO,” Sternberg says.
Brad Smith, managing director of international relations for the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, says ACLI is encouraged by the new momentum.
“Resolution of the agricultural subsidy issue and certain insurance issues moves U.S. insurers one major step closer to being able to enjoy access to the vast Chinese market,” Smith says.
The insurance issues involved several demands by China that were strongly opposed by U.S. insurers.
One demand was mandatory 20% cession of all business written by foreign insurers to a reinsurance monopoly in China.