or Jim Plante, 202-482-1008
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
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.