Debate over H.R. 4537, an international insurance trade negotiations bill, could shake up the usual insurance community lobbying alliances.
H.R. 4537, the “International Insurance Standards Act of 2017″ bill, would:
Require insurance trade deal negotiators to oppose proposals that conflict with U.S. laws.
Require trade negotiators to consult with state insurance commissioners and Congress before making insurance deals.
Give Congress a process for rejecting international insurance deals.
Members of the House Financial Services Committee approved the bill by a 56-4 vote at a meeting in December.
The Congressional Budget Office hinted last week that the bill is still a contender for vote on the House floor, by providing a cost estimate. The CBO predicted that the bill would have no apparent effect on federal government revenue and would lead to about $500,000 per year in additional spending.
Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., introduced H.R. 4537. He has also proposed similar legislation in the past, including H.R. 3762 and H.R. 3861.
Life insurance and property-casualty insurance trade groups team up to support many major insurance bills, but H.R. 4537 could divide groups with bigger, more export-minded members from groups with smaller, U.S.-focused members.
The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, a property-casualty group, has provided strong support for Duffy’s international insurance trade deals in the past, and they and many state insurance regulators have objected strongly to how the Federal Insurance Office has represented the United States at the Insurance Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).