Tell Congress to stop outsourced production!
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I am writing as your constituent to ask you to address the rampant outsourcing of our American film and television production to Canada in return for subsidy payments of up to 76%. Even though experts on trade issues feel these subsidies violate our trade agreements, our government has so far done nothing to stop this practice.
In September 2007 a broad nationwide coalition of American labor filed a Section 301 petition against Canada’s aggressive subsidies to non-Canadian film and television production, asking the United States Trade Representative to investigate them and take this complaint to the World Trade Organization if necessary. Because the Executive Branch and all but a few members of Congress bowed to special interest groups, no action was taken at that time.
It is wrong for Canada’s government to make the cost of its citizens’ labor artificially less expensive with illegal subsidies, depriving American citizens of work and all kinds of American businesses of income. This unfair foreign competition drains our economy of money and much-needed jobs. It is part of our trade deficit, and consequently it contributes to the devaluation of the dollar and rising prices. It hurts everyone except a privileged and already wealthy few.
At a time when how we as Americans are perceived by the rest of the world is of critical importance, I believe it is also very wrong to outsource the creation of the movies and television shows that tell our stories and shape those perceptions to foreign countries. The list of stories that take place in our country filmed by our American studios in Canada instead simply so they can collect subsidy payments is long, shameful and, thanks to government inaction, continues to grow.
You need to understand that American citizens are tired of selling our national soul so a handful of giant corporations can benefit at our expense. We are tired of seeing the hard-earned money we spend on entertainment being reinvested in a foreign country rather than here at home. We are tired of our government standing idly by and doing nothing to stop Canada from stealing good-paying middle class jobs from us.
As a member of Congress you have the power to stop this. You were elected to speak for people like me, not special interests like the wealthy movie studios and their corporate owners. Canada needs to abide by the rules to which it agreed when it joined the World Trade Organization. For my sake and the sake of every other American, please insist that the United States Trade Representative take corrective action against these unfair and illegal Canadian subsidies.
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