Countervailing Tariffs -- A Fair Trade Remedy for Runaway Jobs
Many factors have contributed to the exodus of good paying film and television jobs from Hollywood, but the single biggest factor are the
unfair and intolerable Canadian film subsidies, subsidies supposedly designed to encourage native Canadian film production, but instead
used for the wholesale raiding of US film/tv jobs.
The fair trade solution for foreign subsidies is to apply a tariff in the amount of subsidy received on the importation of subsidized goods.In
other words, a studio that picked up a million dollars in Canadian subsidies for shooting in Canada would have to pay the US a million
dollars in tariffs.Thats what a countervailing tariff is, a tariff designed only to neutralize another country's unfair trade practices and to
level the playing field.And unlike efforts to initiate counter-subsidies of our own, it's a tactic that doesnât cost the taxpayers one dime.
The US International Trade Commission, with the Department of Commerce has the power to order countervailing tariffs for industries
that can show substantial damage from foreign subsidies.The process involves the broad participation of affected unions and workers.A
group complaint is filed in the form of a mass petition from workers.It also requires expert legal help.
The Made in USA Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been engaged of some major lawsuits against the export of US jobs,
including the Steelworkers vs. NAFTA, which went to the US Supreme Court.The Foundation is interested in attacking the Canadian film
subsidies and has approached FTAC to test whether there is interest from the Hollywood unions and businesses in joining in a group
complaint against the Canadian subsidies and a request for countervailing tarriffs.
Joel Joseph from the Made in USA Foundation attended a special FTAC meeting to discuss countervailing tariffs and what it takes to win
The meeting was attended by a wide variety of film unions members, including members of the DGA, SAG, TEAMSTERS, LABORERS and
IATSE (Locales 44, 80, 600, 705, 706, 728, 767, 768, 839, 847, 871, 876, 884, 892) to mention a few.Other attendees included various industry
vendors and concerned residents.
There was a very positive reaction to the idea of countervailing tariffs and most feel that they are attainable.Copies of the petition were
distributed so that members could return to their locales and talk to their members about supporting it.These copies were preliminary work
product and open to change and rewrite.
Our next step is to have individual meetings with the unions and find out their opinions, suggestions and the extent of their support.We
are also checking with legal counsel and congressional leaders.