Trade Policy and Negotiations

Group of people in a business meeting

Trade Policy and Negotiations (TPN) is part of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Trade and Investment Branch. TPN supports the Department's mandate by ensuring that its cultural policies comply with international trade agreements. TPN also seeks to maintain the necessary flexibility to implement Canadian cultural policy within trade agreements. TPN works closely with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada to develop trade policy and investment in Canada, and in international trade negotiations.

Canada recognizes cultural diversity as a source of creativity, innovation, social cohesion and economic development. In addition to encouraging the diversity of cultural expressions from around the world, Canada firmly believes that it is also essential to give Canadians access to their own history and culture through books, magazines, music, television, film and new media. Canada's cultural industries and the contributions of its artists and cultural professionals are an integral part of our identity.

TPN offers expertise on Canada's cultural trade policy in order to achieve a balance between trade liberalization and the promotion of our artists and cultural professionals, both nationally and internationally.

Trade Policy and Negotiations (TPN) Activities

World Trade Organization

TPN participates actively in negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in order for Canada to achieve its cultural policy objectives. For more information on Canada's role refer to WTO negotiations website.

Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements

TPN is involved in the negotiation of new trade agreements (bilateral and regional) and other initiatives related to existing agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Canada's policy on bilateral and regional agreements is to maintain the necessary flexibility to achieve Canadian cultural policy objectives by negotiating, for example, a blanket exemption for cultural industries.

Other international organizations

TPN has contributed actively to the Government of Canada's efforts in negotiating the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Convention is an important international legal instrument, which reaffirms the States' right to implement cultural policies that support the diversity of cultural expressions. The Convention also recognizes the dual nature of economic and social cultural goods and services. TPN will continue to participate actively in the implementation of this Convention and contribute to this new international approach to support the diversity of cultural expressions around the world.

TPN also participates in activities with different international organizations whose work focuses on cultural industries. This includes activities related to digital content by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and activities on audiovisual services and creative industries by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).