Filmmakers including Michael Haneke, Jane Campion and Ken Loach are celebrating victory today after film was officially removed from thee table at the US-EU trade talks. The talks, kicking off at the G8 summit in County Fermanagh, will now maintain the Cultural Exception which states that film has special status and cannot be treated like other trade goods.
The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is considered massively important in revitalising Western economies and creating jobs, but US domination of the film industry could have threatened the survival of small European production houses. Crucially, the US accepted that film plays an important role in national identity, but the decision follows weeks of fierce negotiation during which France threatened to veto the talks altogether unless the Exception was maintained. It is not yet known if the US will ask for concessions in another industry in return.