NU Online News Service, Sept. 18, 2:35 p.m. ? Washington
Insurance groups are praising China’s imminent accession to the World Trade Organization as opening up a potentially vast new market for insurance firms.
The comments came after U.S. trade negotiators, Chinese government officials and WTO members resolved several disputes that had held up China’s WTO entry.
A final vote on China’s WTO membership could come in November.
“This is a win-win-win outcome for U.S. insurers, our international industry counterparts and Chinese consumers, who will enjoy a wider array of financial protection and retirement security products at competitive prices,” says Brad Smith, managing director of international relations for the Washington-based American Council of Life Insurers.
“AIA applauds the efforts of the U.S. Trade Representative’s office in favorably resolving all of the contentious and outstanding insurance issues that remained,” adds John Savercool, vice president of federal affairs with the Washington-based American Insurance Association.
In particular, Savercool notes, China agreed to begin phasing out a mandatory reinsurance cession to a government-run reinsurer and to broaden the types of commercial insurance that foreign companies can underwrite.