1st Edition

Preferential Trade Agreements and Cultural Products

By Gilbert Gagné Copyright 2025
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book discusses the treatment of cultural products within international trade law, focusing on preferential trade agreements.

    Trade and culture intersect when cultural products are involved. These mainly encompass cinema, broadcasting, music, videos, and publishing, either in traditional or digital formats. As such products reflect the cultural identities of states, they have led to a debate as to whether, or the extent to which, they should be exempted from trade obligations. With multilateral negotiations in gridlock, states have increasingly turned to preferential trade agreements. Concurrently, digital technologies have revolutionized how cultural contents are created and distributed. The book analyzes the provisions relating to cultural products within trade agreements, as well as their relationship with the provisions and guidelines on cultural goods and services under the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity. Drawing comparisons between states as to the treatment of cultural products in preferential trade agreements and considering the norms and provisions relating to cultural products under different regimes, the book offers a truly comprehensive overview of the evolution of the trade and culture debate.

    The book will be of interest to researchers in the fields of cultural products, trade agreements, digital technology, trade law, and cultural diversity.

    List of tables


    List of abbreviations




    1. The Trade and Culture Debate

    2. Cultural Products and Trade Negotiations

    3. The United States

    4. Canada

    5. Europe

    6. Oceania

    7. Asia

    8. Latin America

    9. Central America

    10. PTAs, the CDCE, and International Law

    11. Conclusion






    Gilbert Gagné is Professor of International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Bishop’s University, Canada. He holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Ottawa, and a Doctorate in International Relations from the University of Oxford. His research interests mainly pertain to North American economic integration, subsidies and trade dispute settlement, the protection of foreign investment and investor-state arbitration, and the treatment of cultural products in preferential trade agreements. Much of his research is at the intersection of international trade agreements and states’ regulatory autonomy, with a particular focus on cultural policies.

    "Preferential Trade Agreements and Cultural Products thoroughly inventories how states have used the spread of PTA’s to pursue or defend policy goals for audiovisual services and the wider ‘cultural industries.’ Gilbert Gagné has produced the single most  comprehensive study of this subject available."

    Kerry A. Chase, Brandeis University