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Trade Act - Trade Adjustment Assistance Program

Contact: Sue Keltner
Employment Security Department
P.O. Box 9046
Olympia, WA 98507-9046
Telephone: (360) 902-9738
E-mail: skeltner@esd.wa.gov

State Website: http://www.esd.wa.gov/hireanemployee/layoffs/tradeact/taa-faq.php

Participation: 2,715 participants were served by the Trade Act-Trade & Globalization Adjustment Assistance Program between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013.

Who is Served: To qualify for services and benefits, the U.S. Department of Labor must certify that a group of workers has been adversely affected by foreign trade. Once certified, each worker applies separately for services and benefits. Various reemployment and training-related services have different criteria and deadlines.

Program Description: The program assists trade-affected workers who have lost their jobs as a result of increased imports or shifting their work out of the United States. Certified workers are assisted in returning to employment. Depending on assessments, individuals may be eligible to receive job search allowances, relocation allowances, or training assistance. They may also be eligible to receive weekly income support benefits or Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) once their employment benefits have been exhausted.

Other Program Characteristics: The services that workers receive under this program are offered in conjunction with other assistance provided in WorkSource centers, depending on need.

Program History The Trade Act of 1974 established the TAA program. In 1993, the Trade Act was amended to include the North American Free Trade Agreement-Transitional Adjustment program (NAFTA-TAA). The Trade Act was again amended in 2002 to expand eligibility and increase services and also to repeal the NAFTA-TAA program. In 2009, the program was reauthorized through December 31, 2010 as the Trade & Globalization Adjustment Assistance Act to include service and public sector jobs.  Those provisions were subsequently extended through February 12, 2011 through the Omnibus Trade Act of 2010.  On February 13, 2011, TAA reverted to the program in effect under the Trade Act of 1974 as amended by the TAA Reform Act of 2002.  The Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act was signed into law in October 2011, reauthorizing the TAA program through December 2013.  The act largely reinstates the 2009 amendments, though the duration of income support was reduced and public sector workers are no longer eligible.

Planning Cycle: Annual.

Federal Common Measures and Trade Adjustment Assistance Expansion Act Measures: Two sets of federal measures are used to determine the program’s success. Both reflect the same categories of employment, retention, and earnings measures, through definitions vary for each of the measures, and TAA includes an additional measure around educational attainment:

  • Entered employment rate.
  • Employment retention rate.
  • Average earnings.
  • Postsecondary credentials or high school diploma or equivalent if combined with employment.

Funding and Regional Division: This program is administered at the state level. Certified workers apply for services through their local WorkSource offices.

State Funding: None.

Federal Funding: $15,190,365 (October 1, 2013-September 30, 2014), U.S. Department of Labor.  

Statutory Authority Federal - The Trade Act of 1974 as amended (P.L. 108–249). The

Employment Security Department serves as an agent to the U.S. Department of Labor in administering the program in Washington.

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