USCIB and nine other leading U.S. business groups sent a forceful joint letter to the White House last week pressing for ambitious and comprehensive financial services commitments in the soon-to-be-launched U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.
“We strongly support financial services liberalization both in the EU and the U.S.,” according to Shaun Donnelly, USCIB’s vice president for investment and financial services. “Our immediate concern, quite honestly, is more on the American side. We have picked up worrying reports that some U.S. financial regulators appear hesitant to fully embrace the regulatory cooperation elements for financial services, despite the fact they will likely be extended to virtually every other sector of the economy.”
Donnelly said USCIB and other business groups understand the complexity and unique nature of the financial services sector, and appreciate that commitments in a TTIP agreement on regulatory cooperation will vary by sector.
The joint letter recommends that U.S. and European negotiators with the relevant statutory authority and expertise lead discussions in the TTIP talks about the processes, mechanisms and commitments relating to regulatory cooperation on financial services. The business groups also urge that cross-cutting disciplines on regulatory cooperation (e.g. early transatlantic consultations among regulators, transparency, use of rigorous impact assessment tools, periodic review of existing regulatory measures, and applications of broad “good regulatory practices”) be applied to the financial services sector.
“We are also urging a TTIP agreement coordinate, and strengthen, the various U.S.-EU bilateral regulatory dialogues already in place, or those that might be created in the future,” said Donnelly. In the financial services space, that would currently encompass the U.S.-EU Insurance Dialogue and the U.S.-EU Financial Markets Regulatory Dialogue. “These dialogues, and other US.-EU specialized forums, have been a good start, but it is important now that the TTIP provide strong additional impetus to U.S- European cooperation and integration in these key sectors,” he said.
The business groups’ bottom-line message to the Obama administration is that they strongly reject any suggestion that financial services sector might not be fully subject to important disciplines under the TTIP. Given the key role that financial services play in facilitating and driving broader economic integration, it is crucial that any TTIP agreement not carve out or give short shrift to these key sectors.
Staff contact: Shaun Donnelly