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Canadian Magazine Dispute Case Study

Decent Essays
To what extent do you think the U.S.-Canadian magazine dispute was motivated by genuine desires to protect Canadian culture?

From clear sources Canadian publishers argue that if Sports Illustrated was not made an example, and the tax was not imposed, about 50 US consumer magazines with circulations above 50,000 in Canada-- as well as a wide range of trade titles -- could enter the Canadian market and drain a substantial amount of advertising away from Canadian Publishers. (Rinaman, 1996) This was purely about profits and market share. The Canadian publishers were more concerned about their dwindling market share than preservation of their culture.

To what extent do you think the government of Canada was pressured to seek to protect its market because of the financial interests of the Canadian magazine industry?

The common argument for protectionism was that in Canada's market of 26 million people has become saturated by American culture distributed by cultural industries in the US and Canada. In Canada between 60 and 95 percent of film, television, music and publishing markets are controlled by Americans. Four in every five magazines sold in Canada are foreign publications. (Rinaman, 1996)
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Canadian officials point out that the new legislation "does not discriminate on the basis of ownership." If a Canadian company publishes a split-run edition in the US and does not include sufficient original content, the government will impose 80 percent tax on the Canadian edition. The US traditionally protects what it considers fragile industries such as lumber. Canada feels it has the same right to protect its fragile cultural industries. The US is the largest cultural exporter in the world with entertainment as the second-largest US export industry, after aerospace. Ironically, less than 2 percent of time on US television is given to foreign programming. (Rinaman,
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