Movies are one of America’s greatest exports. The motion picture and television industry is one of the few that consistently generates a positive balance of trade in every country in which it does business. The key to continuing this success is to work to avoid protectionism, counterfeiting and online piracy in overseas markets.
Keeping markets open enables people around the world to enjoy the movies they love, and strong intellectual property rights protect millions of jobs worldwide supported by the industry.
While copyright laws vary from country to country, a set of international agreements helps to protect creators and makers’ intellectual property rights across the globe. The World Trade Organization (WTO) establishes global trade rules, as well as a minimum level of protection for intellectual property rights under the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
Countries have committed to meet certain intellectual property right standards through other pacts, as well, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet treaties and the Berne Convention.
Bilateral and regional trade agreements further deepen commerce and investment between the United States and its trading partners. Trade pacts help protect jobs by reducing trade barriers and protecting against discriminatory trade practices.
A number of countries in the Asia Pacific are currently negotiating agreements that have the potential to significantly expand trade flows, including access to greater content and entertainment. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a regional pact that would encompass much of the Asia-Pacific region, proposes including strong standards for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights for the 21st century. Meanwhile, the United States and European Union have agreed to launch talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement, which would cut tariffs, improve regulatory cohesion and strengthen cooperation on intellectual property rights.
The MPAA also works closely with the U.S. Trade Representative to protect creators worldwide, identifying trouble spots listed on the annual Special 301 report and the Notorious Markets List. These lists are important tools for improving enforcement and market access among trading partners.