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UNESCO, the WTO, and Trade in Cultural Products

ESSAYS ON THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION, VOLUME 1: POLICIES AND LEGAL ISSUES, Julien Chaisse & Tiziano Balmelli, eds., EDIS, 2008

63 Pages Posted: 4 May 2008  

Christopher M. Bruner

University of Georgia School of Law

Abstract

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.

Keywords: trade negotiations, international law, UNESCO, media, audiovisual, culture, cultural diversity, cultural goods, cultural services, cultural products

JEL Classification: F13, F14, K33, L82

Suggested Citation

Bruner, Christopher M., UNESCO, the WTO, and Trade in Cultural Products. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1128314

Christopher M. Bruner (Contact Author)

University of Georgia School of Law ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States

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