As the international trade wars continue to heat up, especially with China, Donald Trump is looking to Hollywood for advice. The White House said today that the president intends to appoint MPAA chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin to the U.S. Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Rivkin has experience in global trade matters. Before taking over the motion picture trade group from ex-sentaor Chris Dodd last year, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs in the Obama administration from 2014-17.
The ACTPN appointment, which carries a four-year team, comes as the U.S. and China are locked in a trade war that shows no signs of de-escalating. In a keynote at the U.S.-China Film Summit in November, Rifkin struck a concilatory tone on trade with the Middle Kingdom, saying, “We must continue to open the Chinese market and expand trade between our two industries.“
Part of the trade-tension problem is the rampant theft of intellectual property. At CinemaCon in April, Rivkin said the MPAA remains committed to protecting the sanctity of moviegoing, particularly by being aggressive in piracy and open markets to generate economic growth. “As Chairman and CEO of the MPAA, I guarantee you that fighting piracy in all forms remains our top priority,” he told the exhibitors confab in Las Vegas
According to its charter (read it here), the ACTPN is “a statutory non-discretionary trade advisory committee established to provide overall policy advice to the United States Trade Representative on matters arising in connection with the development, implementation, and administration of the trade policy of the United States including: (1) negotiating objectives and bargaining positions before entering into trade agreements; (2) the impact of the implementation of trade agreements; (3) matters concerning the operation of any trade agreement once entered into; and (4) other matters arising in connection with the development, implementation, and administration of the trade policy of the United States.”