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Michael Geist's Blog

The Trans Pacific Partnership and the Fight Over a Cultural Exception

This week's leak of country-by-country positions on a Trans Pacific Partnership included a notable reference to the inclusion of a cultural exception. Canada stands with a slight majority in seeking a cultural exception that would presumably exclude the cultural industries (broadcast, audio-visual, music, books, etc.) from the ambit of key TPP provisions such as foreign investment restrictions or other legislated forms of cultural protections.  Other supporters of a cultural exception include Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Opponents include the U.S., Peru, Mexico, Singapore, and Japan.

The emergence of the cultural exception issue is interesting because U.S. lobby groups were specifically concerned with the prospect that Canada would pursue an exception if admitted into the TPP negotiations.  For example, the IIPA (which represents the major music, movie, and software lobby groups) stated the following in January 2012 with respect to the possible admission of Canada into the TPP:


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The TPP and Privacy: What Are the Implications of the E-commerce Chapter?

While much of the attention on the Trans Pacific Partnership has focused on the intellectual property chapter, the e-commerce chapter raises potentially significant privacy implications. The details of the e-commerce chapter remain unknown - the chapter has not been leaked as the latest Singapore meeting wrapped up without a deal - but the leaked country-by-country position paper suggests that the participants are fairly close to consensus on at least two privacy related provisions.


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