Four reasons why Hollywood supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Four reasons why Hollywood supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership
President Trump displays the executive order he signed withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Monday. (Ron Sachs / Pool)

Hollywood had been backing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, which President Trump formally withdrew from Monday. The president's action was not a surprise: Trump railed against trade deals throughout his campaign, blaming them for an exodus of jobs from the U.S.

Twelve nations had signed onto the treaty: the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Japan and Vietnam. China, the world's second-largest film market, was not part of the agreement.


The TPP already was on life support; Congress had not ratified it. Though the agreement wasn't all that Hollywood hoped, its lobbying arm, the Motion Picture Assn. of America, supported the deal because it felt the deal would further open Asian markets to film distribution and combat piracy. The MPAA said the deal would:

Strengthen copyright protections

The treaty ensured that copyright owners of digital material had the exclusive right to make their works available online. It extended the length of copyright protection to the life of the creator plus 70 years, which protected film studios.

Forbid governments from requiring companies to turn over encryption keys

This measure was seen in Hollywood as a breakthrough to maintain security and curtail digital theft.

Eliminate tariffs on DVDs and other film storage products

For movie studios, the trade deal was seen as helpful because it would remove tariffs on digital cinema packs and 35-millimeter film.

Remove local partnership requirement

The agreement would prevent governments from requiring that a company or person, as a condition for importing movies or television shows, establish a contractual relationship with a local distributor.

"We look forward to working with the Trump administration to advance fair and economically beneficial trade negotiations that protect the interests of American businesses and workers," said Joanna McIntosh, MPAA's executive vice president of global policy.

"Specifically," she said, "future trade agreements should include provisions that expand market access and protect copyright."