Monitored the treatment of culture in trade agreements and the framework for e-commerce on a global scale – (2018–2019)

Where
Canada
When
2020
Who
Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expression
This measure was reported by civil society.
Describe the main features of the measure/initiative: 
The CDCE monitored the negotiations of the new agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States very closely to ensure the cultural exemption was maintained. The negotiations intensified from August 28, 2018, following the bilateral agreement between the United States and Mexico. From that time, contact with public servants and political representatives was frequent or even continuous during decisive periods. Informative emails to members were also very regular. The CDCE published a press release on August 29 in both languages, and an explanatory note on the cultural exemption on September 6. Both documents circulated widely on social media and generated several articles, mentions and interviews. After the negotiations were concluded, the CDCE issued a press release on October 1, 2018, to highlight that the cultural exemption was being maintained. The coordinator made a presentation on CUSMA at Forum XN on November 7, 2018. She also wrote an article in a book published in 2019 by M Éditeur. The CDCE commissioned a professor at the University of Sherbrooke to draft a private legal analysis. Her opinion, which was translated and sent to members on January 14, 2019, complemented the other analyses that had been distributed and provided new perspectives on the reprisal clause. After this work, comments were prepared and sent to the CDCE’s contacts in government. Thanks to this work, the French version of the text was modified. In 2019, the CDCE wrote two documents as part of the consultations led by the Government of Canada. One was about negotiations on possible membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and proposed various options to the Canadian government to take advantage of all available opportunities to improve the protection of culture in the CPTPP. The other document was produced in the consultation on Canada’s Future World Trade (WTO) Negotiations on E-Commerce. In this document, the CDCE made 11 recommendations to protect and promote diversity of cultural expressions in the future negotiations and asked the Government of Canada to ensure that the cultural sector was exempt from future e-commerce negotiations at the WTO. The CDCE’s activities concerning the new North American Free Trade Agreement is consistent with the coalition’s historical involvement in business issues, its role as guardian of cultural sovereignty and maintaining the cultural exemption. Since it was founded, the CDCE has closely monitored the main negotiations that Canada has engaged in, especially the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and its advice was sought several times, especially on a potential bilateral agreement with China.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?: 
Canada made maintaining the cultural exemption one of the two red lines during the negotiations with the United States and Mexico. It seems reasonable to conclude that mobilizing the cultural sector bolstered the Government of Canada’s willingness to maintain its protection despite the pressure from the United States. The CDCE’s press releases generated media publications and interviews with its representatives. The work done supported the CDCE’s members in their representations to the government. Comments about potential negotiations at the WTO were sent to International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity members and allies, thereby helping to inform civil society organizations elsewhere in the world about the negotiations and contribute to the analysis and proposals that will be made by various organizations over the coming years.