Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Blame Canada?

SAG and several below-the-line unions/guilds have filed a petition with the U.S. Trade Representative alleging that Canadian production incentives violate World Trade Organization rules, report Variety and the LA Times. The WGA and DGA are not part of the coalition.

The timing is odd, because runaway production has abated in the last several years. Indeed - ironically - the city of Toronto has just unveiled a list of recommendations for halting a slide in film and TV production in that city, reports Variety. Production declined by more than one-third over the period 2000-2006.

The reason for the gain in the U.S. and decline in Canada: the weakened U.S. dollar and aggressive countermoves by various U.S. states, which have offered enhanced incentives of their own. These are generally in the form of tax credits and rebates.

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