Office of the United States Trade Representative


Zoellick Joins Entertainment Industry Launch of Free Trade Coalition
Contact: Richard Mills, Ricardo Reyes | (202) 395-3230 03/13/2003

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.

"Having the 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 said.

The recently 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.
Representatives from 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.

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