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IA joins supporters of tax credit bill

New incentive act aims to lure runaway productions back to U.S.

HOLLYWOOD — The Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has thrown its support behind the recently introduced wage-based tax credit bill to curb runaway production.

The IA, which voted down a proposal to endorse countervailing tariffs on U.S. producers who take foreign subsidies last month, said the U.S. Independent Film & TV Production Incentive Act of 2001 offers incentives to create an effective way for Hollywood to compete with cheaper foreign locales.

The union reps about 102,000 below-the-line employees, including about 12,000 in Canada. IA prexy Thomas Short had criticized the countervailing tariff proposal as counterproductive and unfair to the org’s Canadian members.

“The IATSE understands that there may be creative reasons to film at locations outside the United States; this is part of the process of making movies,” said Short in a statement. “With this understanding, the IATSE, in concert with the other members of the Alliance, supports the co-sponsors of the wage credit bill that will promote a level playing field.”

Short’s statement aligns IA with the Directors Guild of America, the Entertainment Industry Development Corp. and the Screen Actors Guild in their support of the legislation introduced by Sen. Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D-Ark.). The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. John Breaux (D-La.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

The IATSE is an international union that represents stagehands, wardrobe, projectionists, makeup artists, hairstylists, tradeshow and display workers, and below-the-line crafts in the film and television industries in the United States, its territories and Canada.

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