UK's Cameron urges 'everything on table'

May 14 [Tue], 2013, 2:01
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday said a proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and United States should cover all sectors, drawing a contrast with France, which wants to leave out sensitive cultural industries.

"To realize the huge benefits this deal could bring will take ambition and political will. That means everything on the table, even the difficult issues, and no exceptions," Cameron said at a White House news conference with President Barack Obama.

France last month threatened to block the proposed free trade talks unless cultural sectors, such as television and radio, were excluded from the agreement.

The European Parliament's influential trade committee voted a week later to leave all of Europe's cultural and audiovisual services out of the negotiations due to start in July, a decision that will shape the negotiating mandate to be agreed on by trade ministers from the EU's 27 member states.

The Motion Picture Association of America, in comments filed last week with the U.S. Trade Representative's office, urged the United States not to agree to any "up-front, blanket sectoral exclusions," but acknowledged EU sensitivities on the issue and said there were limits on what it expected from the talks.

"We recognize the importance of cultural diversity and the contribution the audio-visual sector makes to achieve that goal ... We want, in particular, to make clear we are not calling into question existing EU or national financial support measures and mechanisms for the audio-visual sector," the industry group said.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Vicki Allen and Sandra Maler)



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