Wall Street firms are apparently working on trade agreements that may help them dodge some of the changes that are occurring under the latest updates to the Dodd-Frank Act. Such agreements have the capacity to go over the head of current legislation.
Ongoing Trade Negotiations
The act was meant to prevent a financial crisis like the one that happened in 2008 from happening again. Bloomberg’s Carter Dougherty reports that there are three main negotiations going on among U.S. firms which aim to cut down barriers that remain to international commerce.
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One of the three negotiations is with the European Union, and it focuses on the majority of trade and investment types. A similar one is underway with the Asia Pacific region, and a third one which covers just services is reportedly being discussed with the World Trade Organization.
The Coalition of Service Industries, of which companies like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) and American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) are listed as members, said earlier this month that the agreement with the EU should include “more compatible regulations for services.”
Putting Limits On Regulators
The coalition has said in recent letters that it believes the negotiators of the three pending trade agreements should put into action some rules that would limit what regulators would be able to do. It cites the protection of financial stability as the reason for this.
The coalition also said that the agreements should limit any rules that could go beyond the borders of the U.S., like the rules about financial derivatives that are being discussed. It stops just short of asking for changes to the Dodd-Frank Act, although the coalition does use the trade agreement negotiations to address some of the concerns the financial industry has brought up in the past.
Marcus Stanley, who’s the policy director for Americans for Financial Reform, even said the trade agreement negotiations could become “a Trojan Horse.”