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China OKs greater access for U.S. films

Feb. 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- China will increase market access for U.S. movies, making it "easier than ever before" to market American films in China, Vice President Joe Biden said.

Biden, who spent Friday in Los Angeles with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, said the agreement is part of a resolution of film-related issues after the World Trade Organization sided with the United States in a dispute last year. He said the agreement will allow for greater exports of U.S. film to China and provide "fairer compensation to U.S. film producers."

"This agreement with China will make it easier than ever before for U.S. studios and independent filmmakers to reach the fast-growing Chinese audience, supporting thousands of American jobs in and around the film industry," Biden said in a news release issued by the White House.

"U.S. studios and independent filmmakers cite China as one of their most important world markets, but barriers imposed by China and challenged by the United States in the WTO have artificially reduced the revenue U.S. film producers received from their movies in the Chinese market," said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. "This agreement will help to change that, boosting one of America's strongest export sectors in one of our largest export markets."

The White House announcement said Chinese box-office revenue rose in to $2.1 billion in 2011.

The announcement said the agreement is subject to review after five years and if it is not working "as envisioned," the United States can take the issue back to the WTO.

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