Insurance Groups Praise China Trade Talks on Auto Insurance Market

NU Online News Service, Feb. 17, 8:53 a.m. EST 

Officials of the American Insurance Association and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America are describing as “significant” the outcome of China-U.S. trade-related insurance talks.

David F. Snyder, AIA vice president and associate general counsel, says that through the Economic Track of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, China has agreed to open up its mandatory third-party liability motor vehicle insurance market to foreign insurance companies. 

“This development will bring more choice for Chinese motorists, increasing competition and improving service for consumers in this major global auto market,” adds Robert Gordon, PCI’s senior vice president of policy development and research.

He says, “This achievement is the result of tireless efforts by U.S. trade leaders and will provide a critical foundation for China’s continued economic growth.”

 Promulgation of the necessary policies and regulations needed to implement the agreement are being worked on, according to Snyder.

“This is a significant step forward as it represents the result of several years of diligent work by U.S. and Chinese negotiators,” Snyder says.

He adds that the AIA has been working on this issue for several years.

“We appreciate the high-level commitment of the negotiators and view this as a major milestone,” Snyder says.

He explains that the development “will be of mutual benefit to the Chinese people and U.S. insurers entering the market,” and he adds, “We encourage market access be granted in a timely manner.”

Snyder says the AIA will continue to work to promote access to other sectors of the Chinese insurance market because the association “believes it is critical to China’s long-term domestic objectives of continued economic development and improving the quality of life for its citizens.”

Gordon explains that the third-party liability insurance announcement follows extensive meetings over the last year between Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama and most recently Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s visit this week to the U.S.

Wednesday, the White House unveiled its “Joint Fact Sheet on Strengthening U.S.-China Economic Relations,” which outlines the framework of the Economic Track of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

Gordon says, “Opening up the mandatory third-party liability auto-insurance system to foreign insurance companies is a key tenet of promoting financial-sector development in China.”

PCI and AIA are members of “Engage China,” a coalition of 12 U.S. financial services trade associations. The coalition works to demonstrate how reform and modernization of China’s financial sector is essential for China’s long-term economic growth and job creation.

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