Cutural Issues in Trade Agreements: multiculturalism, liberalism and the NICD initiative
The development of an appropriate regime for trade, investment and the movement of creative and professional workers in the cultural industries will be among the issues for negotiation at the WTO in 2002 and beyond. One proposal calls for a New Instrument on Cultural Diversity (NICD), an international agreement outside the WTO. Cultural diversity at the international level is akin to a domestic policy of multiculturalism adopted by some countries. We examine the rationale and enforcement of multicultural policies within Canada, a country that historically has been committed to biculturalism, English and French, and to the concerns of aboriginal cultures. The Canadian multicultural budget is insignificant in comparison to government expenditure encouraging better communication and understanding among the two established cultures and multiculturalism has had almost no effect on the complex of regulatory, tax, and subsidy policies supporting the Canadian cultural industries. The Canadian case illustrates that a modern democracy is unlikely to support multicultural policies that do more than recognize and integrate immigrant cultures into the polity. An international trade agreement cannot impose by force the cultural preferences of a majority, as a country can opt out of the agreement. There is more diversity, both of a good and bad type depending on the perspective, among those countries opting in than would occur if a global democratic state existed. A cultural industry agreement negotiated under the WTO would permit more degrees of bargaining freedom in accommodating different cultural interests among members and be enforceable on members. The NICD, in contrast, consists of gratuitous promises and fails to address the problems at issue. Proponents of the NICD believe that policies of its member countries could not be challenged under international law. Since the United States would surely retaliate to restrictions imposed on it, either the NICD’s interpretation of international law is incorrect or international law has the same status as the Ten Commandments and far less moral authority.
|Date of creation:||15 May 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published: Carleton Economic Papers|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: C870 Loeb Building, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa Ontario, K1S 5B6 Canada|
|Order Information:|| Email: |
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:car:carecp:02-07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sabrina Robineau)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.