SAG to Challenge Canadian Film & TV Subsidies

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SAG to Challenge Canadian Film & TV Subsidies

Washington D.C. (September 4, 2007) — Screen Actors Guild signed on to a petition under Section 301(a) of the Trade Act of 1974 filed with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative challenging Canadian film incentives. The petition argues that American entertainment industry workers have been significantly harmed by the incentives designed to lure media production from the United States to Canada.

Screen Actors Guild leadership voted in October of 2006 to allocate $50,000 towards the effort to file this petition. SAG National Legislative Committee Chair Gretchen Koerner stated, “We are committed to exploring every method we can to bring film and television production back to the United States. For decades we have watched as American producers head north to produce movies, television series and commercials. The vast majority of SAG actors do not get hired to work in Canada—so our jobs are lost.”

“Screen Actors Guild has worked hard to help our members, the industry and producers by helping to get incentives passed in more than 30 states in the U.S. to keep our production here at home,” Koerner continued. “Members and staff across the country are diligent in looking for ways to save union jobs that have been lost to Canada for far too long. The 301(a) filing is a part of our big-picture strategy to increase employment opportunities in the U.S. for our members. We are asking the federal government to step up and save U.S. film industry jobs.”

The 3,561 page filing prepared by Stewart and Stewart on behalf of SAG and several other organizations (see list below) was delivered to the offices of the U.S. Trade Representative today in Washington D.C.

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) now has 45 days to evaluate the 301(a) petition and to determine whether a formal investigation of the Canadian subsidy programs should be conducted by the U.S. Government.

List of Petitioners in Support of the Section 301 Petition Concerning Film and Television Production

Labor Unions
1. Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
2. Laborer’s International Union of North America (LIUNA)
3. Teamsters Local Union No. 399
4. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 44
5. Studio Utility Employees, Local 724
6. Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association of the United States and Canada (OPCMIA)
7. Local 755, Modelers, Sculptors, Ornamental Plasterers, and Cement Masons (O.P. & C.M.I.A.)
8. Teamsters Local Union No. 592

Film Organizations
1. Film and Television Action Committee (FTAC)
2. Film NY USA

1. Fantasy II Film Effects
2. Location Sound Corp.
3. Independent Studio Services, Studio Art &Technology, and Studio Graphics
4. MovieArt, Inc.
5. La Cienega Studio Cleaners, Inc.
6. Made Scenery
7. Manson Design, Inc.
8. Chiodo Bros. Inc.
9. Cork America
10. Linoleum City Inc.
11. Roger George Rentals
12. Alternative Metal Supply
13. Illusion Arts
14. Oppenheimer Cine Rental LLC

In addition, the following City Councils have adopted, through resolution, the following:
1. City of Glendale, CA, Resolution No. 06-58 (Mar. 21, 2006) (supports Section 301 petition)
2. City of Santa Monica, CA, Resolution No. 9764 (May 14, 2002) (supports Section 301 petition)
3. City of West Hollywood, CA, Resolution No. 05-3319 (Oct. 17, 2005) (supports Section 301 petition)
4. City of Pittsburgh, PA, Resolution No. 370 (July 27, 2004) (recognizes the job and revenue losses due to runaway production and supports an action to keep film work in the U.S.)
5. City of Jersey City, NJ, Resolution No. 04-431 (June 23, 2004) (recognizes the job and revenue losses due to runaway production and supports an action to keep film work in the U.S.)
6. City of Burbank, CA, Resolution No. 26,951 (Apr. 26, 2005) (supports Section 301 petition)
7. City of Clifton, NJ, Resolution No. 108 (June 15, 2004) (recognizes the job and revenue losses due to runaway production and supports an action to keep film work in the U.S.)