Statement from President and CEO Michael Huppe on Ratification of USMCA by Government of Canada

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 30, 2020 – SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe issued the following statement today following ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by the Government of Canada on April 29.

“We welcome this critical change to Canadian law. American music includes some of the most popular recordings ever made – it is one of the most valuable assets that the U.S. provides to the world. Unfortunately, many territories continue to discriminate against American artists and labels, leaving them unpaid when their music is used in other countries. By ratifying the USMCA this week, the Government of Canada will ensure equal treatment for American music creators that will finally provide them millions of dollars in royalties every year when their recordings are used in Canada.”

Huppe continued, “I want to thank the U.S. Trade Representative and his team for securing this important piece of the USMCA, and also the Government of Canada and USTR for ensuring that this important principle was fully implemented as intended in the interest of American music creators.  Canadian and U.S. leadership on this issue sets an important example that should become the standard for trade agreements with other countries where American music creators are denied equal treatment under the law.”

Earlier this year, SoundExchange filed comments asking the U.S. Trade Representative to take action against six countries—UK, France, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, and Canada – that discriminate against American music creators. These six countries refuse to give American recording artists and labels “full national treatment,” a status that would require American creators to be treated the same as their domestic counterparts. The denial of this status costs Americans $170 million annually in royalties. A potential trade deal between the U.S. and UK presents another opportunity to significantly close that compensation gap created when countries choose to penalize Americans by denying them royalties earned for the use of their recordings.