Inside Move: Prod’n credit bill lost in Gulf of Mideast heat

Runaway legislation may be on hold until next session

Blame Saddam Hussein.

Backers of fighting runaway production have pushed for years for federal legislation to retain domestic production, but those efforts look to be headed for the back burner.

Proposed federal legislation — which would provide a 25% wage-based tax credit to productions with budgets under $10 million — was introduced a year ago but stalled in Congress.

Although there’s still hope the provisions can be attached to tax legislation before Congress adjourns in the next few weeks, a spokeswoman for Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), who authored House Resolution 3131, admits the bill’s prospects are murky.

“With all the attention on Iraq, we’re not sure if it will move by the end of the session,” says press secretary Jo Powers. “But if that happens, the congressman will re-introduce it next session.”

On another front, the maverick Film & Television Action Committee is about to launch an initiative asking that the World Trade Organization rule that Canadian production subsidies are illegal. FTAC plans to file a NAFTA Section 301(a) petition asking the U.S. Trade Representative to initiate negotiations with Canada to remove its subsidies, backed by the threat of intervention of the WTO if it does not comply.

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