Canada tracks international trade in culture goods. According to Statistics Canada:
Canada’s trade deficit in culture goods grew by 8.4% in 2005, the largest increase in six years, as exports fell for the second year, and imports rebounded to 2003 levels.
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Canada’s four top trading partners in culture goods, last year, were the United States, China, France and the United Kingdom.
The United States dominated Canada’s import trade in culture goods. Imports from south of the border represented 76% of all culture goods imported into the country last year. However, this was a noticeable drop from 1996 when the United States accounted for 85% of total culture goods imports.
Last year, Canada imported $3.1 billion in culture goods from the United States, up 0.2%, while it exported $2.1 billion south of the border, a 3.8% decline. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with the United States widened slightly to $941.6 million.
Imports of books, newspapers and periodicals represented 75% of Canada’s total culture imports from the United States, whereas film, advertising and books accounted for just over one-half (52%) of exports.
Exports of film and video to the United States have posted strong gains in the recent years compared to other culture products. The share of total exports of film and video increased to 28% in 2005, more than twice the share of 12% posted in 1998. This was offset, however, by a fall of 9 percentage points in the share of writing and published works exports over the same period.
China has made inroads into the Canadian market in recent years. Canadian companies imported nearly $278.0 million in culture goods from China in 2005, predominantly books and postcards.
Imports from France and the United Kingdom outpaced China in 2005, at annual growth rates of 21.9% and 6.2% respectively. Canadian imports from France surged to $231.3 million, while imports from the United Kingdom rose to $150.3 million.
In contrast, exports of culture goods to China fell for the first time in five years. In 2005, Canadian companies exported only $13.0 million worth of culture goods to China, down 15.7% from the record high of $15.5 million exported in 2004.
Since the US seems to be running a surplus (at least with Canada), where are our measures of US cultural trade?