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The March edition of Coalition Currents newsletter includes article entitled “Cultural Exemption Clause Remains Essential as Canada Continues to Pursue Bilateral Trade Pacts”

The March 2009 edition of Coalition Currents—the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity newsletter —is now available.

An article in the newsletter entitled “Cultural Exemption Clause Remains Essential as Canada Continues to Pursue Bilateral Trade Pacts” states that with the Doha Round negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) continuing to be deadlocked, Canada was back on the bilateral track in 2008, signing four free trade agreements (FTAs) and announcing further negotiations for 2009. In the article, the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity discusses the importance of the cultural exemption clause in negotiations, particularly those with the European Union.

“The year 2009 also promises to be an interesting one as Canada will continue its negotiations with CARICOM, the C4 (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua), Panama, South Korea, and the Dominican Republic and launch new talks with the European Union and India (…). The upcoming negotiations with the European Union, for their part, are likely to be the most important undertaken by Canada since signing of the FTA with the United States more than 20 years ago. These negotiations are scheduled to get under way in May 2009 following the Canada-EU Summit in Prague, in the Czech Republic.

“Canada and the EU are strong proponents of the Convention and have always advocated the exclusion of culture from trade negotiations. However, their cultural exemption clauses differ in scope, with the EU clause limited to audiovisual services and Canada’s extended to also include the publishing sector. The negotiations towards this Comprehensive Economic Agreement, envisaged as being significantly broader in scope than a basic FTA, will also be worth paying close attention to as they represent an opportunity for two champions of the Convention to give it greater currency by referencing it as rationale for excluding culture from the agreement.”
The newsletter also includes other compelling articles:

  • “Three U.S. Bilaterals Enter Into Force, but Obama Administration Trade Stance Still to Come”
  • “Caribbean Cultural Organizations Task Force Meets in Barbados, Launches Process for Creating a Caribbean CCD”
  • “Djibouti Coalition Newest IFCCD Member”
  • “December Convention Intergovernmental Committee Meeting: Preferential Treatment Discussion Triggers Debate on 2005 Convention’s Relationship to WTO”

Coalition Currents is published in French, English, and Spanish. It is available on the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.

Source: Coalition Currents