Paris seeks cultural exception in EU-US trade pact
LUXEMBOURG (AP) — France enters a key meeting of European Union trade ministers bent on keeping its cultural life out of forthcoming trans-Atlantic free trade talks, a move that could delay the formal start of discussions next week.
Endorsing the start of trade negotiations between the U.S. and EU was meant to have been one of the big events of President Barack Obama's trip to Europe next week. But going into Friday's EU talks in Luxembourg, Paris is sticking to its "cultural exception" and insisting that any talk about state assistance for movies and television shows should be kept out of negotiations.
Almost all other EU nations have vowed to protect their culture but nevertheless want it part of the talks, fearing that removing it would set off tit-for-tat claims on both sides.