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Music industry responds to UK government’s US trade talk goals

By | Published on Tuesday 3 March 2020

Houses Of Parliament

With the UK government having fully Googled “how do you negotiate tricky trade deals super fast?” – and even checked out some Quora posts on the topic – ministers have been very busy setting out their goals for the upcoming post-Brexit trade deal negotiations.

Alongside publishing their main objectives for the UK’s future relationship with the European Union, ministers have also set out their goals for the much sought after US-UK trade deal. After the UK music industry responded to the EU objectives last week, now it’s shared its viewpoints on the US trade talk goals too.

And whereas the music industry still has mixed opinions about the EU talks – where really the priority is damage limitation – any new trade deal with the US could open up opportunities for the music community, both in terms of touring and copyright.

The boss of UK Music, Tom Kiehl, honed in on the former when responding to the government’s initial comments on a possible US trade deal.

He wrote on Twitter: “The process for UK artists and musicians entering the USA for gigs, festivals and tours is currently long, complex and prohibitively expensive”.

“As the UK and US approach a new trade agreement”, he added, “there’s a huge opportunity to address this so it’s easier for up-and-coming performers to fly over the pond, attract audiences and generate export revenue”.

“It’s therefore welcome that the UK government is placing business mobility and market access at the heart of its negotiating position”, he concluded, before also welcoming commitments on copyright provisions too.

Geoff Taylor at record industry trade group BPI focused on the latter. He said yesterday: “The United States is the largest single export market for British music, accounting for more than a third of total export revenues, with around one in eight albums sold in the US coming from a UK artist. A successful trade negotiation should not only help protect this hard-earned advantage, it should provide the opportunity to boost these exports further”.

“We are encouraged that the government’s outline approach to IP seeks to secure copyright provisions that support UK creative industries, and recognises the need for mechanisms to ensure the efficient enforcement of rights”, he went on. “The UK should seek commitments from the US to better protect creators and to step up action against global illegal operators that base themselves in the United States, while preventing any dilution of the UK’s strong copyright framework”.