This is a guest post by Peter Grant. Peter S. Grant is Counsel at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. He is an expert on communications and cultural policy, and the co-author of Blockbusters and Trade Wars: Popular Culture in a Globalized World (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2004), a book focused on the interrelationship of trade law with cultural policy.
There is an inherent conflict between free trade agreements and cultural policy. Unless measures that support local culture are exempted from these agreements, there is a risk that the principle of “national treatment” (the free trade rule that foreign products must be given the same treatment as local products) might override those measures.