Insurers’ Group Backs Effort to Tweak U.S. Approach to Financial Data in Trade Agreements

Two insurance industry groups today offered their backing of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement after the U.S. formally rolled out a proposal to tweak its language on financial data localization.

The American Insurance Association said it supports the proposal, which the U.S. wants TPP countries to adopt and will introduce for inclusion in trade talks on services with the European Union and in the Trade in Services Agreement, an ongoing negotiation solely related to services issues.

The move, led by the Treasury Department, comes after the Obama administration faced criticism from the financial industry and lawmakers over worries that the TPP as negotiated didn’t do enough to prevent countries from forcing financial companies to store data on servers on their soil.

“AIA offers its strong endorsement of the U.S. financial data proposal and looks forward to supporting ongoing efforts on the TPP, TiSA and TTIP,” Steve Simchak, the AIA’s director of international affairs, said in a Tuesday statement. “The reality is that, while the U.S. market is open, U.S. Insurers face enormous barriers in many markets abroad.  These agreements have the backing of the U.S. insurance industry because of the enormous benefits they provide, including the new financial services data fix.”

Property and Casualty Insurers of America Vice President Dave Snyder separately called on Congress to pass the TPP, though he didn’t mention the data fix.