A group of North American insurance associations is warning against any changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement that would endanger the benefits reaped from the treaty.

“For insurers, NAFTA provided for the removal of ownership restrictions, allowing established companies to compete in each other’s markets based on customer service and reputation, not national origin,” a joint statement from the American Council of Life Insurers, the American Insurance Association, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, the Insurance Bureau of Canada and the Mexican Association of Insurance Companies noted. The statement suggested the treaty helps increase trade and improves customer choice, in addition to allowing for co-operation among government policy-makers, regulators and insurers from Canada, the United States and Mexico. 

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The statement highlighted the importance of NAFTA’s financial services committee, which provides a forum for government policy-makers and regulators from all three countries to meet annually to discuss unique regulatory developments and issues. “The NAFTA financial services committee has been a valuable mechanism to resolve trade issues through consultation and education instead of lengthy and costly disputes.”

Nevertheless, the statement said the insurance groups support the modernization of the trade agreement. “Recognizing the vital contribution that NAFTA has played in all three markets, we look forward to working with our governments to ensure that their modernization efforts enhance the existing benefits the NAFTA provides.”

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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