The Facts About...
FTAC's SECTION 301(a) FILING
What is a Section 301(a) petition?
The 301(a) petition is a provision under Section 301 of the United States trade act of 1974, which provides an avenue to remedy unfair trade practices that are found to be in violation of existing trade agreements. FTAC’s 301(a) petition will be sent to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requesting that he investigate the foreign subsidies to film and television productions.
What if the USTR finds all of the 19 foreign subsidy programs are in violations of our trade agreements?
If the foreign countries refuse to rescind its subsidies, the USTR is instructed by, Stewart and Stewart, to file with the World Trade Organization (WTO) for dispute settlement. The WTO has shown by many of its rulings that it is a strong enforcer of the restrictions on subsidies.
What is the goal of this action?
Elimination of subsidies up to 46% on labor costs given by the 19 foreign governments to U.S. studios and producers.
How long does this process take?
Once the petition is filed the USTR must decide within 30 days whether to initiate an investigation. Subsidy cases such as this are subject to an accelerated schedule so the WTO should issue a decision within 4 to 7 months. Without foreign subsidies as an incentive to produce films and television shows in other countries, many more producers and the studios will film their productions in the USA.
How much will this 301(a) remedy cost?
The 301(a) petition will cost the taxpayers absolutely nothing. FTAC has secured the services of the Washington, D.C. based trade law firm, Stewart & Stewart. We are continuing to raise funds so we can complete the legal actions necessary to file the 301(a) petition.
Why are some organizations opposed to the Section 301(a) filing?
The major motion picture studios oppose it because they will lose the lucrative subsidies they get from the 19 governments for producing in their countries at the expense of American workers and small business. Many trade experts agree that an investigation under a Section 301 would find the Film and Television subsides to be in violation of international trade agreements and order them eliminated.
Who supports FTAC’s 301(a) filing?
At this time FTAC has over 150,000 supporters across the US, including:
- Local 695 IATSE Production Sound Technicians, Television Engineers and Video Assist Technicians - Hollywood, California (1,500 members) www.695.com/
- Local 871* IATSE Script Supervisors/Continuity & Allied Production Specialists Guild - Hollywood, California (1,500 members) www.ialocal871.org/
- Local 44 IATSE Affiliated Property Craftspersons - Hollywood, California (5,800 members) www.local44.org/
- Local 728 IATSE Studio Electrical Lighting Technicians - Hollywood, California (3,000 members) www.iatse728.org/
- Local 720 IATSE Studio Mechanics Local, Las Vegas, Nevada (3,500 members) www.iatselocal720.com
- Local 355, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Local 391, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (125 members) www.teamsterslocal391.org
- Local 399, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (4,111 members) www.hollywoodteamsters.org
- Local 509, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (1,662 members)
- Local 592, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (1,400 members)
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters www.teamster.org/
- Local 724 LIUNA Studio Utility Employees (1,400 members)
- LIUNA Laborers International Union www.liuna.org
- Local 755, Plasterers, Modelers, Sculptors (300 members) www.local755.com
- Local 40 IBEW International Botherhood of Electrical Workers www.ibewlocal40.com/
- Local 78 U.A. Plumbers AFL-CIO www.uaplumber78.com/
- Burbank City Council, Burbank California
- Santa Monica City Council Santa Monica California
- Pittsburgh City Council, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
- Jersey City, City Council, Jersey City, New Jersey
- Clifton City Council, Clifton, New Jersey
- Maryland Production Alliance www.mdproductionalliance.org
- Film NY US - A group of below the line film workers based in New York City, New York
- Florida Motion Picture and Television Association www.fmpta.org/
- Hollywood Center Studios www.hollywoodcenter.com
- Raleigh Studios
- Michaelsons Catering
- Fantasy II Film Effects
- International Studio Services
- History For Hire
- Jackson Shrub Supply