Letters from Justin - Macleans.ca

Letters from Justin

Of iPod taxes and private copying tariffs

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The Conservatives returned to their correspondence file yesterday for the purposes of attempting to undermine the new Liberal leader. In the latest letter in question, Mr. Trudeau seems to suggest that the private copying tariff be extended to iPods.

Mr. Trudeau was asked after QP to explain the difference between what he was seeking and what the Harper government is doing with its increases to import tariffs.

Well, one of the differences is our proposal around C-32 had to do with recognizing the work of Canadian artists and the creativity and finding a way in a post-CD world to actually encourage creators of content to make a living off of it and the supposed iPod tax was one way of looking at perhaps making sure that we have Canadian artists celebrated and successful the way we managed to celebrate last night with the Junos. The difference with the tariffs that this government is bringing in—$330 million or more on tariffs and interestingly enough they’re taking Sony to court for hesitating to pay tariffs that this government on the other side says doesn’t actually exist, but if it doesn’t exist how can they be taking them to court for not paying them? This whole idea is they’re bringing in tariffs that go into general revenues to pay for things like more Economic Action Plan ads rather than helping Canadian artists continue to success in producing world class music.

The Prime Minister’s dismissal yesterday was fairly categorical—”He has written asking us to increase taxes on a range of consumer electronic products, including iPods. Our government will not be doing this.”—but the Canada Border Services Agency has yet to respond to a request to clarify how companies might be exempted from the tariff on imported iPods that otherwise seems to exist.