WASHINGTON – Last night Congress approved legislation to implement Free Trade Agreements between the United States and South Korea, Colombia and Panama. Below is a comment from Neil Turkewitz, Executive Vice President, International, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on the approval:
“We are extremely pleased that Congress has now endorsed these Free Trade Agreements, paving the way for their implementation in Korea, Panama and Colombia. International markets are vital to the U.S. music industry, and we strongly support the negotiation of trade agreements that protect intellectual property, lower market access barriers to U.S. creative products and services, and promote legitimate electronic commerce.
“America’s music sector has been badly affected by piracy for decades. Today we face a problem of unprecedented scale. While the digital revolution has created new ways for us to reach consumers with compelling products and content, this same technology has also facilitated the work of those who profit from stealing ideas, innovation and creativity. Achieving enhanced global standards of copyright protection and enforcement, ensuring meaningful market access, and developing trade disciplines that keep pace with technological development are all central to our ability to remain competitive and to continue to ensure good jobs for America’s creative community. We strongly support continuing efforts to pursue simultaneous liberalization and the strengthening of intellectual property protections through bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade negotiations.
“For decades, the expansion of trade and the protection of intellectual property have been cornerstones of a bipartisan economic policy. Our country’s economic competiveness, and the ability of our companies to lead and to create employment, will depend upon our continued success. We commend Congress for this important action and look forward to working with our Korean, Panamanian and Colombian trade partners after the President signs these historic agreements into law.”
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States.
In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi-Platinum™ and Diamond sales awards as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.
Contact: Jonathan Lamy Follow @LamyJ Cara Duckworth Follow @TweetCDuck Liz Kennedy Follow @LizSKennedy 202/775-0101