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For Immediate Release

Please Contact Morrie Goodman, 202-482-4883
or Jim Plante, 202-482-1008
G 01-01

January 18, 2001

Commerce Secretary Mineta Releases Report
on the Impact of the Migration of U.S. Film and Television Production

WASHINGTON, DC - "Runaway film production" is having an increasingly dramatic impact on U.S. film and television production according to a report Secretary of Commerce Norman Y. Mineta issued today. The report entitled The Migration of U.S. Film and Television Production provides data on the practice of producing films outside the U.S.

"The most serious impact is in the area of made for television movies for U.S. networks and cable systems," Secretary Mineta said. He added, "However, the impact is far ranging. 'Runaway film production' has affected thousands of workers in industries ranging from computer graphics to construction workers and caterers. These losses threaten to disrupt important parts of a vital American industry."

The report cites one study that shows U.S. production of made for television 'Movies of the Week' declined more than 33 percent in the last six years, while production at foreign locations increased 55 percent. Another study cited in the report estimates the yearly economic loss to the U.S. economy to be as much as $10 billion.

The report, produced by the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration (ITA), finds a number of factors leading to runaway film production. Globalization, rising costs, foreign wage, tax and financing incentives, and technological advances, combined are causing a substantial transformation of what used to be a traditional and quintessentially American industry into an increasingly dispersed global industry.

The report notes that while foreign government wage and tax incentives may not be the primary factor in determining the location of film and television production, there is no doubt that when combined with all the other factors discussed, these incentives constituted an important consideration.

The report describes a number of on-going efforts on behalf of the film industry, including government programs such as, expanding markets for U.S. films through international negotiations, Export-Import Bank loan guarantees and The Small Business Administration Loan Program/or Independent Film Program.

The report also details a number of film industry suggestions for further government action. Their inclusion is intended to identify areas where further study is needed.


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