President Donald Trump recently released U.S. goals for the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying the U.S. would target rules protecting Canadian culture from foreign investment. The Council of Canadians is calling on the Canadian government to stop this from happening.
“We have to protect and cherish culture at the NAFTA bargaining table,” said Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “Our foreign investment rules have ensured that cultural production is financed by Canadians with Canadians in mind. These principles mean that next to the U.S. mega entertainment industry, our production is distinctly Canadian in all its national, Indigenous and multicultural diversity.”
The Council of Canadians supports the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) and other cultural groups’ recommendations that Canada maintain its exemption for culture in NAFTA and that the notwithstanding clause – which allows the U.S. to retaliate for alleged violations of trading rules when it protects the cultural industry – be taken out of NAFTA. NAFTA must also be modernized to include protections for cultural industries such as Netflix, the Internet and video games, which didn’t exist when NAFTA was signed 23 years ago.
For more information contact:
Jan Malek, The Council of Canadians
(613)-233-2773, ext 231