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The MPAA is also the parent organization of the MPA (Motion Picture Association), formerly known as the MPEA (Motion Picture Export Association), established in 1946 as a legal cartel under the provisions of the Webb-Pomerane Export Trade Act.Outside the United States, the MPA has offices in Brussels, Rome, New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Mexico City, Toronto, and Jakarta, and from these bases it carries out its basic mission of promoting Hollywood motion pictures, protecting intellectual property rights, and asserting the goals of the industry generally in foreign markets.United International Pictures, for example, is a joint venture of Universal and Paramount, which owns distribution facilities in as many as 37 different countries including Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, and Japan, as well as in less lucrative territories like Hungary, Chile, Peru, the Philippines, and Thailand.Twentieth-Century Fox owns 21 foreign distribution facilities in an equally diverse set of countries.This level of success on export markets can be ascribed not only to the prowess of American multinational media corporations in disseminating the products of Hollywood across the globe, but also to their unique ability to make big-budget films that appeal powerfully to popular tastes in many different cultures.
Over the years, Hollywood has received abundant help from the US State Department, the Commerce Department, and other agencies of federal government in promoting its products abroad.
This suggests that a convergence of popular taste may be coming about, though in many countries this phenomenon also occurs against a backdrop of cultural contestation.
Hollywood has been a success partly because of the unmatched competitive advantages concentrated in its home base, partly because of its extensive distribution network and US government efforts to push open foreign doors.
Thus not only have exports grown much more rapidly than domestic markets over the last fifteen years or so, but they now also exceed domestic box-office receipts by a considerable margin.
By far the main importers of Hollywood products are European countries.
According to the US Economic Census, motion picture and video production in the United States as a whole generated revenues of $20.15 billion in 1997, with Hollywood alone being responsible for close to 60% of this total.