WASHINGTON — Steve Simchak, vice president and chief international counsel of the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) testified today before the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Trade Policy Staff Committee on “Negotiating Objectives for a U.S.-U.K. Trade Agreement.” The following statement may be attributed to Simchak.
“APCIA expresses strong support for negotiating a mutually-beneficial U.S.-U.K. trade agreement on financial services. The U.S.-U.K. are home to the world’s top two financial centers and share similar attitudes towards harnessing the insurance sector to foster economic growth and job creation. These negotiations are a unique opportunity to strengthen the financial markets in both countries and establish shared international leadership in the financial services industry at a time of significant change in global finance and international trade flows.”
As the outcome of the “Brexit” negotiations will have an effect on the bilateral U.S.-U.K. negotiations and the U.S. and U.K. have not yet decided on the scope of the negotiations, Simchak emphasized the following broad themes:
Fostering deeper regulatory cooperation: A U.S.-U.K. Financial Regulatory Dialogue would benefit not only market participants, but also their end-user clients and investors. There is scope for more rigorous coordination and cooperation without undermining prudential outcomes, and differences can be respected while minimizing unnecessary regulatory burdens. Regulatory coordination resulting from the agreement also should allow each government to support the other’s regulatory systems in multilateral standard-setting processes.
Modernizing cross-border insurance market access and data rules: A U.S.-U.K. trade agreement could build on the already very open financial services markets in the two countries by updating international insurance trade commitments to better reflect global supply chains and the way modern businesses engage in international trade today. Any agreement must include strong commitments to allow insurers to store and process data in the location that best suits their needs and the interests of their policyholders.
Simchak’s testimony is attached.