U.S. challenges Canada on publishing laws

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The U.S. on Monday formally began the process of challenging in international trade courts Canadian laws that prevent U.S. publishers from competitively publishing Canadian versions of their magazines. In a statement, U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor said a complaint is being filed with the World Trade Organization.

The U.S. complaint was inspired by Sports Illustrated's problems in Canada. The Canadian government has imposed an 80% excise tax on advertising in split-run magazines U.S. publishers send to Canada, barred Canadian advertisers from taking advertising cost deductions they normally would get if they advertised in Canadian-owned publications, and charged more in postage for magazines not produced in Canada for non-Canadian owned companies.

The Magazine Publishers Association on Monday commended Mr. Kantor and said Sports Illustrated was just one of a number of magazines similarly affected.

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