The interface between culture and trade is a long-standing priority of the Government of Quebec. Quebec has been and remains a fervent promoter of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which reaffirms the sovereign right of states and governments to adopt and implement cultural policies and measures and recognizes the distinctive nature of cultural goods and services as vehicles of identity, values and meaning.
In trade agreement negotiations, Quebec wants not only to protect current policies and measures, but also to preserve cultural policies and measures in the future, particularly in the digital environment. Quebec's new cultural policy (see Section 1.1.1) also states, in Objective 2.4 (Increase Quebec's influence in the area of culture and cooperation with its international partners), that the Government of Quebec intends to preserve its ability to adopt and implement cultural policies and measures, particularly in the digital universe, by invoking, inter alia, the principle of cultural exception. Quebec's International Vision (see Section 1.1.2) states that Quebec will play an influential role and fulfil its legislative responsibilities in international trade negotiations that affect its areas of jurisdiction or concern markets or economic issues of interest to it. This applies, for example, to the negotiation of agreements involving cultural diversity and the protection thereof.
MEI (Department of the Economy and Innovation] is responsible for defending Quebec's interests and positions in the negotiation of Canada's trade agreements and consults the various sectoral departments, including MCC, in this regard. The Government of Quebec promotes the objectives and principles of the Convention with its trading partners that are Parties to the Convention and also maintains a dialogue with civil society when negotiating agreements.
Quebec drew the interests of its cultural industries to the federal government's attention in the negotiation of the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). Signed on November 30, 2018, CUSMA includes a cultural exemption that applies to all chapters of the agreement, including the chapter on electronic commerce. This exemption will allow Quebec to retain its full authority to adopt and implement measures to protect and promote Quebec culture.
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Sectoral departments of the Government of Québec