Andrea DaSilva is the Senior Media & Entertainment Analyst for the International Trade Administration (ITA). Chris Higginbotham is a Communication Specialist with ITA’s Office of Public Affairs. What are you doing with your Valentine today? Maybe a movie? Dancing the night away? Or you could be reading poetry to one another… Maybe you don’t have a Valentine but you’re doing one of those things anyway. Either way, you’re supporting creative industries that provide the United States with some of its most unique—and sometimes romantic— exports! Exports in filmed entertainment, which includes movies and television content distributed abroad, reached $14.3 billion in 2011. That includes everything from romantic comedies to game shows, war movies to animated features. This was an increase of almost $700 million from 2010 numbers. Exports in books, records and tapes achieved $1.3 billion. This category includes everything from easy listening to jazz and metal (romantic or otherwise), romantic novels to cookbooks. All of these categories include media or entertainment content that is streamed online or digitally downloaded for a fee to protect the intellectual property and copyrights of the owners and creators. The International Trade Administration (ITA) works closely with professionals in these industries to promote exports and create jobs. We’re supporting both the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) and the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) with Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards. These are competitive financial assistance awards ITA provides to industry groups pursuing projects that will help U.S. firms export and create jobs. Whether you’re picking up the tab for your Valentine, going dutch or flying solo, don’t be a cheapskate! Make sure to show love to your date and the creative professionals in these industries by avoiding pirated content or illegal file sharing. Nothing kills the romance more quickly than a computer virus you inadvertently downloaded while stealing music from an illegal site, or if you are an artist, writer, or musician – having your works shared without getting paid. We hope you enjoy whatever entertainment you’re seeking for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion. And remember, there really is no such thing as free except for sharing romance with a loved one!