ACLI Backs WTO Financial Services Proposals

December 15, 2000

The American Council of Life Insurers added its weight behind government proposals put forth in Geneva at the current World Trade Organization Conference on Financial Services.

The industry seeks to have rules adopted which would assure that financial services, including life, pension and investment products, can be offered on a global basis. The issue is one of the most difficult problems facing the WTO, as many countries seek to protect domestic markets through “regulations” that effectively limit foreign competition.

The WTO is exploring ways of harmonizing the rules on financial services. ACLI Chairman Sy Sternberg, CEO of New York Life, stated, “The U.S. financial services proposal is a clear indication that the United States government is prepared to break the WTO logjam and to overcome the inertia which has paralyzed the WTO agenda for several years.”

“We in the U.S. insurance industry stand ready to join forces with insurance providers worldwide to bring down the barriers which restrict competition and deprive consumers of a full range of new and competitively priced insurance products, ” Sternberg continued.

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