France, according to Le Monde, is leading a European charge to limit the extent to which American "cultural products" can invade the European market. To put it this way is perhaps misleading, since the basis of the French position, understandably enough, is that "culture" is not a "product" in the sense that other tradeable goods are. It is not "merchandise." Rather, it is "culture," and if you don't know what culture is when you see it, well, then you're a philistine.
The problem with this is that the French are being disingenuous. When they use the word "culture," they would like you think of paintings in the Louvre, the Fauré Requiem, or the novels of Proust, but their trade negotiators are all about limiting the number of American films that can be shown in French movie theaters and the number of American TV dramas and sitcoms that can be shown on the small screen. These things are not the fruit of individual creators but, indeed, the "products" of "the cultural industries" (to borrow from the title of Frédéric Martel's popular Sunday radio show on France Culture). Large sums of money are involved, as are substantial capital investments and desirable jobs.
The French position on this goes back to the post-World War II years and the famous Blum-Byrnes agreement, negotiated by Léon Blum and James Byrnes. The two countries agreed at the time to limit imports of American films, and quotas have waxed and waned ever since. At the time of the original accord, there were some regrettable attacks on American philistinism by such prominent French intellectuals as Étienne Gilson. Since then, however, the French have amply demonstrated that they are as capable of producing cultural schlock as any American philistine, and when there is money to be made, they are just as avid to make it.
Anyone who watches French TV or goes to the movies is aware that whatever "cultural exception" has existed since World War II has not done much to ward off American influences on French popular culture. Whether one deplores or applauds those influences (and I personally think neither deprecation nor applause is warranted), a trade negotiation is not a good place to stop it. In such a venue, money is what counts, not culture.
Perhaps as a cultural mongrel myself, capable of appreciating both high and low, domestic and foreign, I simply don't evaluate the stakes as the self-appointed defenders of European culture do. I say, let people decide what they like. I may often not approve of other people's choices, but I don't think that taste can be improved by imposing quotas, any more that it can be legislated or enforced by curricular edict. I do know that part of my love of France came from watching some fairly low-brow French films. I would have lost something if my government had tried to "protect" me from them. But American governments have never been much interested in that kind of protection (as opposed to prophylactic censorship of supposed sexual immorality). The mask of antiphilistinism is more commonly worn in Europe, but those who wear it are less concerned with the culture of the masses than they are with the profits to be made from them.