Montana Auditor To Negotiate Insurance in China

May 12, 2008

Montana State Auditor John Morrison will represent U.S. insurance regulators in the U.S.-China Insurance Dialogues in Hangzhou, China, this week. The dialogues, part of trade negotiations between the two countries, are being held May 15-16. Morrison will be joined by the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative and representatives from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Labor and Agriculture, as well as spokespeople for the U.S. insurance industry.

Morrison will speak on behalf of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Morrison is the NAIC’s international vice-chair for Asia.

“The trade issues on the table in this meeting are important to the U.S. and to Montana,” Morrison said. “Insurance and other financial services are the backbone of China’s amazing growth and, directly or indirectly, we all have a stake in that growth.” Montana Blue Cross Blue Shield, for example, is part of a coalition that hopes to work soon with China Life Insurance Co. to deliver health insurance to Chinese citizens, Morrison said. And mainland China, together with Taiwan, purchase nearly $100 million in goods and services from Montana businesses annually, a number that is growing.

The Insurance Dialogues will cover agreed upon insurance related trade issues that are of concern to both countries. Morrison will address issues that include expansion of health insurance, catastrophe insurance in a time of climate change, and rules governing management of insurance company assets.

In 2003, Morrison, together with the NAIC president and an elected Republican commissioner from Florida, led the group’s first delegation to China to open a relationship with the Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission. The meeting spawned an internship program that has brought 20 some Chinese insurance regulators to the United States for month-long training visits in state insurance departments. Li Xiangjun, chief legal counsel in Jiangsu province, served in Morrison’s office last fall.

The two countries also launched a joint insurance working group that presented a symposium in China last summer addressing steps necessary to provide health insurance to Chinese citizens; 85 percent of Chinese citizens lack health coverage. Following the symposium, Morrison and Stanford university professor Karen Eggleston co-authored recommendations to the Chinese government, including suggestions based on the Insure Montana small business health insurance program.

Later this month, Morrison will address students at Stanford University about the Hangzhou dialogues.

Source: MSA

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.