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House Passes Resolution Calling on China to Remove Trade Barriers

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

House Passes Resolution Calling on China to Remove Trade Barriers

Washington, DC - The U.S. House of Representatives today overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for greater access for U.S. financial services firms doing business in China, by a vote of 401 to 4. H.Res. 552, introduced by Representative Jim Marshall (GA-8), along with Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-6), Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (MA-4) and Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (AL-6), calls on the People's Republic of China to remove barriers to United States financial services firms doing business in China, and to immediately implement all of its World Trade Organization commitments in financial services to date as well as its commitments under the auspices of the Strategic Economic Dialogue between China and United States.

"This bill wouldn't be necessary if China simply complied in good faith with its existing trade obligations," said Rep. Jim Marshall. "Eliminating China's barriers to U.S. and foreign financial services providers will diversify and strengthen the Chinese economy and fix the China/U.S trade imbalance. And the resulting dramatic increase in flexible, creative micro-finance will help grow China's middle class, something critically important to China's democratization and long term political stability."

"By opening up its financial sector to greater foreign participation China will finally be able to provide the most needed products that its citizens and business need to save, invest and insure against risk while at the same time creating access to a new market for U.S. businesses," said Rep. Peter Roskam.

"It does not speak well of the government of the People's Republic of China that this resolution is necessary. You cannot, in this world, consistently at the same time be a complete free trader where you have an advantage, but a mercantilist and protectionist and restrictionist society where you think someone else might have the advantage," said Chairman Barney Frank. "This is also a directive from this House to the United States regulators to do onto others as they do onto us in the financial area."

"By providing the world-class financial products and services that China's citizens and businesses need, U.S. financial firms can help activate the Chinese consumer and entrepreneur, better mobilize China's vast savings, create and protect wealth, and provide the operational means for greater currency flexibility," stated Ranking Member Spencer Bachus. "The result would be what every U.S. manufacturer and service provider wants -- an unleashed Asian tiger hungry for American products."

H.Res. 552 also resolution sets goals for the United States in the next meeting of the Strategic Economic Dialogue, seeking to achieve Chinese commitments toward removal of all foreign investment caps on banking, life insurance, asset management and securities; nondiscriminatory treatment of U.S. financial services firms with regard to licensing, corporate form and permitted products and services; and nondiscriminatory treatment of U.S. financial services firms with regard to regulation and supervision.

H.Res. 552 has the broad support of American Banker's Association, the American Council of Life Insurers, American Insurance Association, the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, the Investment Company Institute, the Financial Services Forum, the Financial Services Roundtable, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

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