UNESCO, the WTO, and Trade in Cultural Products
Christopher M. Bruner
Washington and Lee University School of Law
ESSAYS ON THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION, VOLUME 1: POLICIES AND LEGAL ISSUES, Julien Chaisse & Tiziano Balmelli, eds., EDIS, 2008
On 20 October 2005, the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a treaty legitimating legal measures to protect domestic producers of cultural products. The Convention represents a major victory for Canada and France - its principal proponents - and a major blow to Hollywood and the United States, audiovisual products being among America's most lucrative exports. This chapter examines the UNESCO Convention's legal and diplomatic significance. Following a brief look at the treatment of cultural products under the WTO system, the chapter discusses UNESCO's history, the Convention's negotiation, and its legal and diplomatic status, concluding that it will have little (if any) legal effect on existing WTO obligations, but a significant diplomatic impact on future negotiations toward greater audiovisual liberalization - a key trade policy goal of the United States.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 63
Keywords: trade negotiations, international law, UNESCO, media, audiovisual, culture, cultural diversity, cultural goods, cultural services, cultural products
JEL Classification: F13, F14, K33, L82
Date posted: May 4, 2008
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