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Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released a new report that highlights the vital role Trade Adjustment Assistance plays in helping workers displaced by trade build skills and find new jobs. The report entitled, “The Importance of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for America’s Workers,” shows that the program effectively helps workers harmed by import competition and that those who receive assistance find lasting employment relationships.
“U.S. trade policy and a lack of a manufacturing strategy has hurt the American worker which is why we must extend TAA. Since 2001, Pennsylvania has lost almost 300,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector and many of those jobs have been lost because of one-way NAFTA-style trade agreements,” said Chairman Casey. “Without the assistance offered by TAA, these workers will not have access to training required to secure employment following a trade?related job loss. This week, the Senate is expected to consider an extension of improvements to TAA made by Congress in 2009, and I will be spearheading the effort on the Senate floor to pass TAA.”
Competition from cheaper foreign products may cause businesses to cut production, lay off workers or close. At the same time, domestic workers may become displaced when domestic producers take advantage of lower foreign labor or regulatory costs and shift some or all of their production overseas - a process known as offshoring. The combination of growing competition from foreign imports and increased movement of production overseas can leave some workers permanently worse off, despite the broader benefits from trade.
Casey continued, “More and more jobs have been sent overseas leaving workers out in the cold. To get jobs in new industries workers need new skills. TAA helps put workers hurt by foreign trade back to work while also ensuring employers have a skilled workforce. An extension of TAA is even more vital as more trade agreements are being considered that can further harm American workers.”
The report shows that in 2010, 53 percent of those who participated in the TAA program were employed within the first calendar quarter of exiting the program. TAA participants also appear to find lasting employment relationships; 80 percent of workers employed within the first three months of exiting the TAA program remained employed for an additional six months.
To view the report, click here.