Release Date: Jun 18, 2002Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Hails Senate Passage of Terrorism Insurance
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Chamber of Commerce hailed bipartisan Senate action on terrorism insurance legislation that helps to ensure that American businesses and investors will have the coverage they need to sustain their operations and protect jobs and our economy.
"Failure to act has stifled investment," said Bruce Josten, U.S. Chamber executive vice president. "It's high time we show the world we're stronger then ever. The business community can do that with confidence now that it has an insurance backstop to cover office buildings, shopping malls, hotels, and other investments that will keep our economy growing."
A significant and growing number of facilities have been forced to operate without terrorism coverage, leaving business owners, employees, and their families economically vulnerable in the event of a terrorist attack. Others are forced to pay astronomical prices for coverage, tying up otherwise productive capital that could be used for job creation and growth.
The U.S. House passed the Terrorism Risk Protection Act (H.R. 3210) last November. The act protects the availability of terrorism insurance coverage for millions of American businesses and limits lawsuits that seek to blame businesses for terrorist acts.
The Chamber expressed concern that the Senate version did not include reasonable limits on punitive damages. "The Senate bill contains a glaring loophole that could force victims of terrorist attacks to pay punitive damages for the acts of terrorists," said Josten. "This loophole creates another crack in our legal system that will allow unscrupulous trial lawyers to exploit the aftermath of any future terrorist attacks," concluded Josten.
Since September 11, the Chamber has lobbied aggressively in support of terrorism insurance legislation with modest liability protections. The Chamber also sent action-alerts to its grassroots network of nearly 4,000 association and state and local chamber members and more than 45,000 activists across the country, urging them to call or write their Senators.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector and region.
# # #