Imbalance in trade of cultural products between countries


Books, television programmes, and similar cultural products are imported from industrialized countries in number and worth far exceeding cultural exports. Hollywood-style films, and the phonorecord and cassette containing contemporary, youth-oriented music, continue to dominate the youth-market in developing countries. Money spent on these ephemeral products represents a substantial drain on the economies of some small states. This contributes to trade deficits, but also to promoting the capitalist ideal of an endless appetite for consumption. It allows the importation of the value system which may subvert local social standards and cultural maintenance. Such cultural products falsely portray the world's goods as available almost for the asking, and lure the unwary into states of dissatisfaction and alienation.


Europe annually imports $3.8 billion worth of films (mostly American) while exporting a mere $250 million of its own. In France, American movies took 58% of 1992 box-office receipts, compared with only 35% for French films. On the other hand, French movies accounted for only 0.6% of the USA box-office takings.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST