U.S. won't probe Canadian film subsidies

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U.S. won't probe Canadian film subsidies
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration said on Friday it turned down a request from the Screen Actors Guild and other film industry groups to file a complaint against Canadian film subsidies at the World Trade Organization. ADVERTISEMENT

"Based on a thorough review of the economic data, other facts and legal arguments set out in the petition, the interagency committee unanimously recommended that the USTR not accept the petition," said Gretchen Hamel, a spokeswoman for U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab.

The Screen Actors Guild and other members of the Film and Television Action Committee complained in their petition on September 4 that Canadian subsidies had lured tens of thousands of good-paying film jobs from the United States.

The case received political support from Rep. Xavier Becerra, a California Democrat who complained in a statement last month that Canadian film subsidies cost the U.S. economy more than $9 billion from 1998 to 2005.

But the Bush administration panel who examined the issue concluded that "the information and arguments set out in the petition would not be effective in addressing the Canadian subsidies," Hamel said.

"Ambassador Schwab has accepted this recommendation, and has decided not to initiate a Section 301 investigation in response to the petition," Hamel said.

Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act allows industry groups to file a petition asking the U.S. Trade Representative to investigate whether an unfair trade practice has occurred and to take action to correct any abuses it finds.

Source : Yahoo Movie News

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