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AIA calls US-Korea free trade agreement strongest in decades

American Insurance Association

Media Release

AIA Calls U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement Strongest In Decades

10 May 2007

Washington, DC — The American Insurance Association (AIA) recently strongly praised the work of U.S. trade negotiators who successfully concluded their talks on a Free Trade Agreement with Korea that will provide significant commercial gains for both countries.

“This is critically important to AIA and its members because Korea is the eighth largest insurance market in the world, but for regulatory reasons, has been largely closed to us,” said David Snyder, AIA vice president and assistant general counsel. “Based upon information we have from U.S. trade negotiators, we believe this to be the strongest outcome for financial services ever achieved in trade negotiations.”

“We’ve been advised that Korea agreed not to expand the government-owned Korea Post into property-casualty insurance, and to apply the full range of regulatory transparency provisions to assure that all insurers are treated equally,” Snyder said.

“Cross-border insurance and data privacy issues were resolved in a market-friendly way, and a regular consultative body is established to ensure that the insurance commitments are carried out,” said Snyder.

Trade in insurance services also brings social benefits, such as infrastructure investment, compensation for loss, and advocacy for safer roads and workplaces.

“Property-casualty companies support economic development in the United States, investing billions in municipal bonds that fund roads, bridges, schools, affordable housing and emergency service facilities. Korean society can see the same type of benefits,” Snyder stated.

“We hope this Free Trade Agreement can also assist in creating momentum at the World Trade Organization talks, which are continuing,” said Snyder. “We look forward to Congress approving, and President Bush signing, this Free Trade Agreement with Korea. Insurance, as well as many other U.S. business sectors will benefit.”