Trade, technology key to future of movies

Mumbai: "Motion pictures are among America’s most important diplomats deserving of protection and advancement in our changing global environment", said Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) chairman and CEO Dan Glickman.

Glickman, in remarks before the National Press Club, called on elected leaders to set aside partisan politics in favor of responsible trade agreements that can open foreign markets to United States’ products.

"The closer we get to Election Day, the further it seems some of our elected leaders step from the realities of the global marketplace, such as the profound reliance of our nation on other countries for our future growth. There’s a limit to what U.S. consumers can buy. New markets, new customers and new collaborations will drive the ongoing growth and competitiveness of our nation," Glickman said.

Glickman, who served as Secretary of Agriculture in the Clinton Administration, recently joined other former administration members and former members of Congress in supporting the Colombian Free Trade Agreement. Without free and fair trade that includes proper conditions and protections, Glickman noted the US economy risks slower economic and employment growth. He warned that other countries will be more than happy to supplant us politically if we do not engage the world economically.

The MPAA relies heavily on foreign markets for its economic health. Nearly 60 percent of its box office and home video receipts come from outside the US American movies run a trade surplus in virtually every country in which it does business. That’s why, Glickman says, it is so important to encourage the respect and protection of intellectual property rights across the world.

"As more diverse countries pursue their own innovation economies, I believe we will see rising global support for intellectual property rights. This is no longer an American issue, but one that is increasingly meaningful to all who create something of value with their minds," Glickman said.

Glickman pointed out that the fast-changing times require industries like this to be on the cutting edge and responsive to evolving consumer demands. He said that the movie industry is taking advantage of new technologies to enhance the theater experience as well as to give consumers more options for enjoying movies in new ways in their homes or wherever they choose.