A2IM is going to Washington at the end of June to try and get export subsidies for independent labels, organization's president Rich Bengloff told Billboard at the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers convention. While there, A2IM will meet with the Small Business Administration and the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

He says beyond asking for export subsidies for CDs, he hopes to get funding for when the organization, its labels and their artists to go to international conventions. "When you go to MIDEM and see all the booths from the different countries, they are all subsidized by their governments," he said. "The United States is the only government that doesn't do that. Yet, five years ago, the U.S. was the largest music market, making up 37% of world sales. Today we are second with 27% of sales.

"While certain industries have lost their stature in the world trade market, intellectual property is still one of the things that is successful,"Bengloff told Billboard.biz. "To protect our place in the international market, we have to be able to compete on a level basis."

A2IM's Washington mission will be assisted by "our music community allies," the Recording Academy, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and representatives from Congressman Howard Berman's office. Bengloff said, labeling Berman one of the music industries greatest allies.