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Cultural Products and the World Trade Organization
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  • Page extent: 344 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.68 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 382.92
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: n/a
  • LC Subject headings:
    • World Trade Organization
    • Popular culture--Economic aspects

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521873277)

Cultural Products and the World Trade Organization

Cambridge University Press
9780521873277 - Cultural Products and the World Trade Organization - by Tania Voon

Cultural Products and the World Trade Organization

Debate about trade and culture has a long history, but the application of WTO rules to cultural products such as films, radio, and books remains one of the most divisive issues in the organisation. After assessing the economic and social arguments for treating cultural products differently from things like steel or wheat, this book explains how the vastly different views of WTO Members in earlier negotiations led to an outcome that is disappointing for all. It goes on to provide a comprehensive evaluation of possible solutions, including evolution of the law through WTO dispute settlement, a new agreement outside the WTO, and reforms to improve the balance between trade liberalisation and cultural policy objectives. As UNESCO’s new convention affecting trade and cultural diversity is due to enter into force in 2007 and the WTO’s Doha Round of negotiations is stumbling, the need for such an evaluation is all the more pressing.

TANIA VOON is Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Melbourne. From 2003 to 2005, she was Legal Officer in the Appellate Body Secretariat of the WTO. Tania studied law at the University of Cambridge (Ph.D.), Harvard Law School (LL.M.), and the University of Melbourne (LL.B. (Hons), Grad. Dip. Intl. L.). She has taught WTO law in Canada and Australia and published extensively in leading journals.

Cultural Products and the World Trade Organization

Tania Voon

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:

© Tania Voon 2007

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2007

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

ISBN 978-0-521-87327-7

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or
accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to
in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such
websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

For Chester


Detailed chapter outlinepage ix
Table of GATT/WTO agreementsxiii
Table of GATT/WTO casesxiv
Table of abbreviationsxvii
GATT/WTO agreementsxvii
GATT/WTO casesxviii
Other abbreviationsxxvi
Part I  Stalemate and its ideological origins1
1Trade and culture3
2A case study of cultural products: protectionism vs cultural policy37
3What’s wrong with the current treatment of cultural products?69
Part II  Options for the future121
4Resolution through dispute settlement and international law123
5Constructing a new agreement outside the WTO173
6Improving the existing WTO agreements217
Non-WTO agreements, cases, statutes, and treaties257
Other official documents and reports259
Articles, books, chapters, and papers271

Detailed chapter outline

1Trade and culturepage 3
1.1‘Trade and …’ problems3
1.2Cultural implications of WTO rules11
1.3Cultural industries, cultural products, and cultural policy measures18
1.3.2Common cultural policy measures19
1.3.3Significance in the WTO23
1.3.4Significance in other international contexts29
1.4Towards a solution33
2A case study of cultural products: protectionism vs cultural policy37
2.2Legitimacy of State support for cultural products39
2.2.1The nature of cultural products39
2.2.2Promoting or preserving culture through cultural products41
2.3Justification for discriminatory cultural policy measures43
2.3.1The market for cultural products43
A.US dominance44
B.Positive externalities of cultural products50
2.3.2The need for discrimination54
A.Against foreign cultural products54
B.Between foreign cultural products59
2.4Evaluating cultural policy measures in the WTO60
2.4.1Motives for cultural policy measures60
2.4.2Effectiveness of cultural policy measures61
2.4.3Minimising trade restrictions64
3What’s wrong with the current treatment of cultural products?69
3.2Cultural products as goods and services70
3.2.1Basic definitions and classifications70
3.2.2Digital products73
3.3Presumed ‘likeness’ of cultural products75
3.3.1Likeness under GATT 199476
A.Like products76
B.Directly competitive or substitutable products80
C.Aims-and-effects test82
3.3.2Like services and service suppliers under GATS85
3.4Unbalanced and uncertain exceptions89
3.4.1Government-supplied services90
3.4.2Screen quotas92
A.GATT Articles III:8(b) and XVI and the SCM Agreement96
B.GATS Article XV98
3.4.4General exceptions (GATT Article XX, GATS Article XIV)100
A.Structure and chapeau100
B.National treasures104
C.Public morals and public order105
3.5The GATS outcome109
3.5.1Limited national treatment and market access commitments109
3.5.2Excessive MFN exemptions113
4Resolution through dispute settlement and international law123
4.2The role of international law in interpreting WTO law124
4.2.1Relevant provisions125
A.Article 3.2 of the DSU125
B.Article 31 of the VCLT126

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