Why multilateralism is losing ground in audiovisual services in the WTO
Trade in audiovisual services is both aimed at economic purposes and impacts social values of host countries. That is why this sphere has traditionally been one of the most difficult issues in the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations and an area of opposed approaches of the US and the EU. The author demonstrates that measures related to cultural policy can inherently shape protectionist trade barriers for support of national companies. Rapid development of technology has expanded the possibilities for the transmission and distribution of audio and visual content. At the same time, existing multilateral trade rules as well as applied classification for audiovisual services are becoming increasingly irrelevant. The article concludes that, on the one hand, the growing market for audiovisual services requires more precise rules for its cross-border trade, on the other hand, the trend towards the formation of regional blocks with specific regulations complicates negotiations (or even common understanding) on the rules for trade in audiovisual services under the WTO.