October 2, 2018

Canadian publishers welcome the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s continued protection of cultural industries

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) congratulates the Government of Canada on this week’s announcement of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). After more than a year of negotiations, the agreement maintains the cultural exception first established in the 1988 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, and continued under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). ACP commends Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister Chrystia Freeland, Minister Mélanie Joly, Minister Pablo Rodriguez, and the entire Canadian negotiating team for their steadfast support of Canadian cultural industries throughout the negotiations.

The longstanding exception for cultural industries recognizes the unique role this sector plays in Canada and across North America, and has contributed to the growth and development of a thriving Canadian publishing industry. Its maintenance in the USMCA, with respect to both digital and analogue markets, will be of critical importance to Canadian-owned book publishers in the years to come. Canadian-owned publishers are responsible for publishing the vast majority of new Canadian authored books each year, and many earn upwards of 50% of their annual revenues from export to the United States.

“We extend our appreciation to Minister Freeland and the Canadian negotiating team for their considerable efforts over the past year,” said ACP Executive Director Kate Edwards. “From the beginning of the negotiations the Government of Canada identified the maintenance of the cultural exception as a key priority, and Canadian book publishers are delighted that this goal was achieved. The USMCA will continue to provide government the flexibility to create effective cultural programs and policies, to encourage the future production and distribution of Canadian content in all formats.”