NU Online News Service, May 6, 2:07 p.m. – The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, has joined a coalition of six Washington-based insurance and financial services trade groups that’s asking the U.S. Trade Representative to set higher standards for the next round of World Trade Organization trade talks.

In addition to ACLI, the coalition includes the American Insurance Association, the Coalition of Service Industries, the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, the International Insurance Council and the Reinsurance Association of America.

The United States can start sending requests to the WTO in June.

The U.S. financial services coalition says the United States should demand more than than the traditional commitments to equal market access and fair national treatment.

The United States should lobby for “regulatory, transparency and ‘best practices’ principles that will serve to complement and buttress commitments made in the areas of market access and national treatment,” the U.S. coalition writes in its letter.

The coalition says it’s basing its demands on a “model schedule” developed by the international Financial Leaders Working Group, a group that represents financial institutions and trade groups from Europe, the United States, Canada and Japan.

Developing countries that adopt the working group’s model schedule would end up with freer, more predictable insurance markets and more foreign competition, the U.S. coalition writes in its letter.

The coalition says the new foreign competition would help developing countries, by increasing their access to outside capital and financial services expertise.