Countervail Petition Against Canadian Audiovisual Productions

A petition to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to impose countervailing duties on Canadian film and television productions was filed on December, 4, 2001 by the U.S. Screen Actors Guild and others in an attempt to stem the flows of so-called “runway” productions from the U.S. to Canada.

A number of submissions were filed by various parties attacking the petition on grounds of standing and sufficiency. The petition was withdrawn on January 11, 2002. The petitioner stated that it needed more time to produce documentation to support the petition. Pending such refilling, the proceeding has been suspended indefinitely.

Peter S. Grant (communications and entertainment) and Ryaz Duttu (international trade) of McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto represented Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. (AACI), Canada’s largest television producer, with coordination from AACI senior vice president, corporate development and general counsel, Paul Leberge; represented the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC). Robert Buchan and Leslie Milton of Johnston & Buchan LLP in Ottawa represented the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA).

The three Canadian parties, AACI, DGC and CFTPA, jointly retained Catherine Curtiss and Craig Forcese of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in Washington to act for them before the ITC. The petitioner was represented by Joel Joseph, general counsel, Made in the USA Foundation. The Motion Picture Association and other U.S. interests opposed to the petition were represented by Elizabeth Hafner of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy LLP in Washington. The Canadian government was represented by Homer Moyer Hal Shapiro and John Davis of Miller & Chevalier in Washington assisted by Jackie Snyder, Trade Remedies Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa.