---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 21:49:55 +0000
From: Marjaleena Repo 
To: CCAFT LIST 
Cc: MAI-not 
Subject: NO CULTURAL EXEMPTION IN NAFTA

PASS THE WORD: CULTURAL EXEMPTION IN THE MAI IS (AND WILL BE) AS
NON-EXISTENT AS IT WAS IN NAFTA

People are wondering whether what the Canadian government spokesmen,
from ministers to bureaucrats to MPs are claiming is true, when they say
(and they do this often):  "As we did in the NAFTA, Canada will
negotiate an exemption for cultural industries.Canada's culture is not
on the table."

The truth, however, is that Canada got zilch, nada, nothing, zero in
terms of "cultural exemptions" in the FTA and NAFTA. Much hype and
plenty of red herrings about this supposed "protection" of culture; but
here are the straight goods. (I'm taking an excerpt from a piece David
Orchard and I have just finished preparing: a  debunking of the
government's major claims re the MAI - which I will e-mail people on the
CCAFT list as well as the mai-not list in a couple of days. It will be
posted on our website in its totality, and will also be printed in a
pamphlet form, and will be available for distribution.)

CCAFT response: "There is no exemption in NAFTA for culture. NAFTA
states that the Canada-U.S. FTA shall govern culture. Article 2005.1 of
the FTA states that 'Cultural industries are exempt from the provisions
of this Agreement, except as specifically provided in Article 401
(Tariff Elimination), paragraph 4 of Article 1607 (divesture or an
indirect acquisition) and Articles 2006 and 2007 of this Chapter.' THE
VERY NEXT SENTENCE, article 2005.2, however, NULLIFIES this supposed
exemption. It reads: 'Notwithstanding any other provision of this
Agreement, a party may take measures of equivalent commercial effects in
response to actions that would have been inconsistent with this
Agreement but for Paragraph 1.'"

"This provision means that if a government in Canada takes ANY action to
promote or protect cultural industries in a way that alters U.S. control
of these industries in, the Americans have the legal right to estimate
their losses from the measure, and then take action of equal value
against another Canadian industry WITHOUT EVEN HAVING TO GO THROUGH THE
DISPUTE SETTLEMENT PANEL. If, for example, Canada took steps to increase
Canadian films' access to theatres, or to increase Canadian content on
television, the United States would have the right to retaliate against
any other Canadian industry it chose, be it lumber, steel, pork, fish or
automobiles. This so-called exemption casts in stone the existing U.S.
control of Canada's creative expression by granting the United States
the specific right of retaliation should Canada ever move to reduce the
almost total American domination of Canadian cultural life. It means
U.S. interests have achieved a veto over future federal and provincial
cultural programs. The only way Canada can regain its cultural
sovereignty is to get out of both FTA and NAFTA by using the 6-month
cancellation clause."

From: David Orchard and Marjaleena Repo: "... and tell me no lies:
Citizens Concerned About Free Trade replies to Liberals' pro-MAI
propaganda."  February, 1998.






--
**************CITIZENS CONCERNED ABOUT FREE TRADE*************
National chair: DAVID ORCHARD   National organizer: MARJALEENA REPO
                        website: http://web.idirect.com/~ccaft
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