US to open trade talks on global insurance, financial services
The United States Trade Representative’s office is expected to enter into talks this year with the European Union and more than a dozen other countries on an agreement to eliminate barriers to trade in finance and other service industry sectors.
The aim will be to remove barriers to trade and investment in sectors such as finance, insurance, telecommunication, computer services and express delivery, all areas in which the United States is a leading provider. The United States, the 27-nation European Union and 18 other developed and developing countries have been exploring the idea of such an International Services Agreement for nearly a year. Emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Russia have so far avoided the talks.
The Peterson Institute for International Economics conservatively estimates the proposed agreement could increase annual services exports among 16 core members by $78 billion. “In absolute terms, the United States and the European Union would see the largest export gains, around $14 billion and $21 billion, respectively,” the Peterson report shows. If Brazil, China and India were to join the talks, the trade gains would expand by around 30 per cent. The Geneva-based negotiations could include Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the EU, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States.