Evan Greenberg — a member of a family that has spent decades negotiating with officials in China — says the current U.S. approach to international trade is putting China in an even stronger bargaining position.
Greenberg is the chief executive officer of Chubb Ltd., which is the largest publicly traded property-casualty insurer in the world.
Evan Greenberg is also the son of Maurice Greenberg, who, as the chairman of American International Group Inc., began persuading Communist China to open up to outside financial services companies in 1975.
The recent U.S. move to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union is “deeply counterproductive,” Evan Greenberg said last week in New York, at an insurance conference organized by S&P Global. “It abdicates leadership and is isolating our country.”
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The United States seem to be acting as if trading with the United States is a privilege, Greenberg said.
“Countries are not companies,” Greenberg said. “They are sovereign nations. We should treat them with dignity and respect.”
Greenberg, who was speaking to an audience of money managers and investment analysts, brought up some of the same points he made in a letter to shareholders he put in Chubb’s annual report.
At the S&P conference, he also expressed new concerns about the U.S. relationship with China and Mexico.