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October 1, 2018 | International

RIAA Comment On New USMCA Trade Agreement

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently concluded negotiations on a trade agreement with Mexico and Canada called the United States, Mexico, and Canada Agreement, or USMCA. Below is a comment from RIAA President Mitch Glazier on the text of the agreement released by USTR.

“We understand that USTR must navigate a complex trade landscape, and we appreciate the diligent work of Ambassador Lighthizer and his staff over the past several months.

“The USMCA contains several improvements in the area of copyright, including national treatment, which we hope will end Canada’s long-standing discrimination against American performers and record labels, and extending copyright term in Canada to bring it in line with global norms, which will benefit songwriters and music publishers in particular.  The agreement also continues the time-honored position of the United States on copyright exceptions, rejecting prior flawed proposals on fair use.

“In addition, the agreement’s enforcement provisions include technological protection measures, and its rules on digital trade protect sound recordings and other digital products from discrimination and duties.

“Unfortunately, the agreement’s text also enshrines outdated property rights limitations for works made available on Internet platforms.  These twenty-year-old limitations do not comport with today’s digital reality and have been shown to skew the marketplace at the expense of American creators and the U.S. music community, which provides real jobs and is one of our nation’s biggest cultural assets.

“Modern trade treaties should advance the policy priority of encouraging more accountability on public platforms, not less.  We are hopeful that the Administration and Congress will redouble their efforts to further this priority going forward, which is front and center in the national dialogue today.  We look forward to working with both USTR and Congress to ensure that these exceptions to property rights for American creators do not serve as a template but simply a launching pad for future negotiations toward a framework that works for everyone in the digital marketplace, including creators.”

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