June 21st, 2024

New fee for streaming companies serves Canadian interests at Americans’ expense: U.S.

By The Canadian Press on June 6, 2024.

American and Canadian flags fly outside the United States consulate on the day of the U.S. presidential election during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

OTTAWA – The United States says American streaming companies are being unfairly targeted by a new Canadian fee that “disproportionately” serves interests north of the border.

The federal broadcasting regulator announced this week that foreign streaming companies such as Netflix and Spotify must put five per cent of their Canadian revenue toward local news and Canadian content.

An embassy spokesperson in Ottawa says the U.S. government is encouraging Canada to consider American stakeholders as it implements the Online Streaming Act.

That law seeks to bring online services into closer line with traditional broadcasters, which must put a much larger amount towards Canadian content.

Members of the U.S. Congress and the National Foreign Trade Council are also raising concerns about the new Cancon mandate.

Tiffany Smith, vice-president for the trade council, says it unfairly requires U.S. companies to fund the work of people in another country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 6, 2024.

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