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RIAA Commends Conclusion Of Free Trade Negotiations Between The U.S. And South Korea

WASHINGTON - The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) issued the following statement by Neil Turkewitz, Executive Vice President, International on the United States and South Korea today reaching a free trade agreement.

WASHINGTON – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) issued the following statement by Neil Turkewitz, Executive Vice President, International on the United States and South Korea today reaching a free trade agreement.

We are extremely pleased that a breakthrough has been reached that will hopefully permit the rapid consideration and ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement. This agreement has already been publicly endorsed by various organizations, unions and businesses in the entertainment sector. International markets are vital to US companies and workers, 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.

The Korea-U.S. FTA succeeds in helping to address these challenges in ways that not only bring continued high levels of protection in Korea but also set important precedents for future free trade agreements. This agreement provides modern standards of copyright protection for the digital age, and requires both parties to ensure that protection is meaningful in practice through effective enforcement.  We highlight in particular the very important commitments undertaken by Korea with respect to addressing internet piracy. These commitments are central to our shared objectives of combating the online theft of creative content.  We laud the government of Korea’s commitment to tackle Internet piracy and we believe that such provisions should be replicated in any and all future FTAs or agreements that address intellectual property protection.

“In short, we strongly support the agreement, and hope that Congress will ratify it as quickly as possible. More broadly, we strongly support continuing efforts to pursue simultaneous liberalization and the strengthening 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. The ability of our country to lead –the ability of our companies to lead and to create employment– will depend upon our continued success.

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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.

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