Trade Liberalisation and Cultural Policy

39 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2008

See all articles by Christoph B. Graber

Christoph B. Graber

University of Zurich, Faculty of Law

Mary E. Footer

University of Nottingham School of Law

Date Written: June 24, 1999


This article examines the tension between global trade liberalisation and the pursuit of cultural policies by national governments. It reviews the background to the discourse over trade and culture and a range of domestic cultural policy measures. Attention is also focused on the emergent issues governing the relationship between intellectual property, trade and culture and recent disputes involving at the WTO in this area. The article then analyses the pervasiveness of globalisation and its impact on the way in which cultural goods and services are traded and distributed, using the new media technologies, and its effects on cultural identity. The final section of the article discusses some prospects for the treatment of trade and culture at the WTO at the beginning of the new Millennium. A broad cultural exception to trade is rejected in favour of the application of specific rules governing trade and culture.

Keywords: Cultural Policy, Trade Liberalisation, WTO, Globalisation, Cultural Diversity

Suggested Citation

Graber, Christoph B. and Footer, Mary E., Trade Liberalisation and Cultural Policy (June 24, 1999). Journal of International Economic Law, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 115-144, 2000, Available at SSRN:

Christoph B. Graber (Contact Author)

University of Zurich, Faculty of Law ( email )

Treichlerstrasse 10
Zurich, 8032


Mary E. Footer

University of Nottingham School of Law ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom
+44(9)1159515727 (Phone)

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