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WASHINGTON, DC — Engage China, a coalition of 12 financial services trade associations united in support of high-level engagement with China with an emphasis on greater market access and continued financial sector reform in China, released the following statement in advance of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s confirmation hearing of U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China:

“Engage China applauds the nomination of U.S. Senator Max Baucus as the next U.S. Ambassador to China.  Senator Baucus brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the issues and complexities of the U.S.-China bilateral relationship, one of the most important bilateral economic relationships in the world.

“Serving as a U.S. Senator since 1978, and as current chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over international trade, Senator Baucus has extensive knowledge of China.  His work in the Senate on trade will be critical in advancing an active trade and economic partnership between China and the U.S.

“One of the most critical elements of our U.S.-China relationship is financial sector reform and modernization, specifically with an emphasis on greater market-opening reforms in China, which would enable U.S. financial services companies to compete on a level playing field.  Greater participation by foreign banking, insurance, futures, and securities firms in China’s financial services marketplace will help China achieve its economic goal of building a more services-based, consumer-driven economy, as well as bring world-class expertise and best practices with regard to products and services, credit analysis, risk management, internal controls and corporate governance.  By providing the financial products and services that China’s citizens and businesses need to save, invest, insure against risk, and consume at higher levels, U.S. financial institutions can help expand a vast new market for American-made products and services, contributing importantly to faster economic growth and job creation here in the Unites States.

“The Engage China Coalition urges the Senate to confirm Senator Baucus as U.S. Ambassador to China, and looks forward to working with him in this vital role.”

The Engage China Coalition includes the American Bankers Association, the American Council of Life Insurers, American Insurance Association, BAFT-IFSA, The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, The Financial Services Forum, The Financial Services Roundtable, The Futures Industry Association, The Investment Company Institute, Insured Retirement Institute, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

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