The federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program was established under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. The TAA Program provides aid to workers who lose their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced as a result of increased imports. In addition, there is a separate program for firms that have suffered "significant" losses in terms of employee numbers and sales due to increased imports during the preceding 12 month period.
Workers and firms who are adversely affected by increased imports may apply for TAA. TAA offers a variety of benefits and reemployment services to assist unemployed workers in preparing for and obtaining suitable employment. Workers may be eligible for training, job search and relocation allowances, income support and other reemployment services. Firms are eligible to receive grants to cover half the cost of consultants or industry-specific experts for projects that improve a manufacturer's competitiveness.
Funding for the current trade adjustment assistance program has been extended through the end of March 2009. There are currently two bills in the House and the Senate that seek to extend and expand TAA coverage.
For additional information about the current TAA program and proposed expansion legislation: