WASHINGTON - U.S.
Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick today joined representatives from the
entertainment community and Members of Congress to celebrate the launch on
Capitol Hill of the Entertainment Industry Coalition for Free Trade. The
coalition includes members of the motion picture and recording industries,
theater owners, video game producers, and television programmers who recognize
the importance of economic openness and trade to American entertainment
businesses and workers.
"Free trade and
open markets benefit American industries and millions of American workers,
including those in the entertainment field. It is vitally important that their
voices be heard. I'm delighted that this coalition has been formed and that it
will help us explain to the American people just how important foreign market
access is to the hundreds of thousands of people who work in the entertainment
sector," said Zoellick.
International sales accounted for about half of
the entertainment sector's over a half a trillion dollars in sales last year.
Copyright-based industries employ approximately 4.7 million Americans, including
writers and technical workers, and account for more than 5 percent of U.S. GDP.
The prominence of U.S. films, books, music, television, and entertainment
software are a testimony to the creativity and energy of an open society
exercising the right to free expression.
support of the entertainment industry for our recently completed free trade
agreements with Singapore and Chile, which include state of the art intellectual
property protections, will help us set new standards internationally," Zoellick
completed free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore provide for: strong
intellectual property protections and tough copyright enforcement. Additionally,
in the Chile agreement, tariffs for all U.S. entertainment products were
eliminated (Singapore had no such tariffs).
Members of the
Entertainment Industry Coalition for Free Trade in attendance at the launch
included Jack Valenti, President of the Motion Picture Association of America;
Hilary Rosen , President of the Recording Industry Association of America); John
Fithian, President of National Association of Theater Owners; Sean Spencer,
Executive Director of the Television Association of Programmers; and Bob
Kimmitt, Executive Vice President of AOL Time Warner.
other members of EIC who attended the launch include the AFMA (the association
representing independent film producers); BMG Music; EMI Recorded Music;
Interactive Digital Software Association; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.; New
Line Cinema; Sony Music Entertainment; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.;
Television Association of Programmers Latin America; Twentieth Century Fox Film
Corporation; Universal Music Group; Viacom; Universal Studios; the Walt Disney
Company; and Warner Bros.; Warner Music Group.