Free Trade and Cultural Industry: Finding a Way to Sleep in the Same Bed


  • Heather Grab



This article discusses the consideration, often minimal, paid by international agreements to cultural products such as books, magazines, and films. The author advocates for the inter-connectedness of trade and culture and emphasizes the importance of striking a balance between the two concepts going forward. A discussion of differing conceptions of culture and an overview of how international instruments and international law treat culture and cultural industries is provided.

Adopting Canada as a focal point, the article discusses the country’s unique role vis-à-vis its cultural protection strategies and how this has shaped relations between Canada and the United States. Ultimately, the author concludes that in the future, as globalization increases, considering culture alongside trade is crucial so as to protect and promote cultural diversity that compete with increasingly dominant economic forces.