USMCA Benefits North American Insurance Consumers

Dec 13, 2019

Life insurers’ most critical mission is helping people take care of the things that matter most. We serve 90 million families in the U.S., helping them build a financial safety net that protects them through all stages of life.

International markets have also demonstrated an appetite for our industry’s financial protection products. We serve families around the globe, including in Mexico and Canada. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into effect on January 1, 1994, enabled U.S. insurers to become market leaders in those countries.

Still, as markets and technology evolved rapidly over the past quarter century, it became increasingly clear that NAFTA needed to be modernized.  

That is why we support the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). We look forward to it being passed by Congress.

The USMCA updates NAFTA to reflect current economic practices and amplify NAFTA’s benefits. NAFTA facilitated increased trade, improved customer choice, and prompted growth and greater cooperation among government policy makers, regulators and insurers in all three countries. 

This modernized trilateral trade agreement can build on that success. The business of insurance, in which firms must be established in-market and are highly regulated locally, benefits from multilateral trade agreements to prevent unnecessary barriers to trade in services. A well-designed trade agreement like the USMCA provides the necessary framework that allows insurers to compete fairly and provide innovative and affordable financial protection products throughout North America.

The devil is in the details. And the USMCA has plenty of details to review. Enforceability comes to mind as particularly key and in need of being further strengthened. But, by and large, the USMCA is an important and necessary upgrade to NAFTA. It will benefit consumers for years to come.

The American Council of Life Insurers applauds the efforts by the United States, Mexico and Canada to commit to this agreement. Congress should pass USMCA without delay.

Dianne Sullivan

Dianne Sullivan was Vice President, Federal Relations at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). Dianne was responsible for political analysis and advocacy regarding tax and international trade issues coming before the U.S. Congress. She advocated for the industry for over 18 years.