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Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
17.245 Trade Adjustment Assistance_Workers




Trade Act of 1974, Title II, Public Law 93-618, 88 Stat. 1979, 19 U.S.C. 2271-2322, as amended; Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Title XXV, Public Law 97-35, as amended; Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1983, Public Law 97-362, as amended; Amendment to the International Coffee Agreement Act of 1980, Public Law 98-120, as amended; Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, Public Law 98-369, as amended, Public Law 99-190; Third Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 1986 Funds, as amended; Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, Title XIII, Public Law 99-272; Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, Title I, Public Law 100-418; North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Title V, Public Law 103-182; Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2000, Public Law 106-113.
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To provide adjustment assistance to workers adversely affected by increased imports which will assist them into suitable employment.


Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use.
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Provision of Specialized Services.
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State Employment Security Agencies (SESA's) serve as agents of the United States for administering the worker adjustment assistance benefit provisions of the Trade Act. SESA's, through the local offices, provide testing, counseling, and job placement services; job search and relocation assistance; training; and payment of weekly trade readjustment allowances (TRA). State unemployment compensation and extended benefits must be exhausted before TRA is paid to eligible claimants. Trade impacted workers are eligible to receive job search and relocation allowances in addition to the costs of training. They may be paid subsistence and transportation allowances to attend approved training outside the normal commuting distance of a worker's regular place of residence.


Applicant Eligibility:   I. Petitions for trade adjustment assistance must be filed with the Secretary of Labor by a group of three or more workers or by their certified or recognized union or by an official of the workers' firm. Notice of such filing shall be promptly published in the Federal Register. Within 10 days after publication, the petitioner or any other person found by the Secretary to have a substantial interest may request a hearing and be afforded the opportunity to be present, to present evidence, and to be heard. The Secretary shall determine whether the petitioning group meets the requirements and may issue a certification of eligibility to apply for adjustment assistance. For workers to be eligible to apply for adjustment assistance, the Department of Labor must determine that: 1) A significant number or proportion of workers in such workers' firm, or subdivision of the firm, have become totally or partially separated, or are threatened to become totally or partially separated; 2) sales or production, or both, of such firm have decreased absolutely; and 3) increases of imports like or directly competitive with articles produced by such workers' firm were an important cause (increased imports must contribute importantly but not necessarily more importantly than any other cause) of such total or partial separation, or threat thereof and to such decline in sales or production. II. Petitions for North American Free Trade Agreement Transitional Adjustment Assistance (NAFTA- TAA) must be filed with the Governor, or the Governor's designated representative, of the State where the petitioners' firm is located by a group of three or more workers (including workers in any agricultural firm or subdivision of an agricultural firm), a union representative, a company official, or a duly authorized representative, including community-based organizations. NAFTA-TAA petitioners are afforded the same rights as TAA petitioners to request a hearing to present evidence relevant to their petition. Upon receipt of a NAFTA-TAA petition, the Governor shall notify the Secretary that the State has received the petition. Within ten (10) days, the Governor will transmit a preliminary finding to the Secretary as to whether the petition meets the criteria that: 1) employment at the petitioners' firm has declined; 2) sales or production has declined absolutely; and either 3) imports of like or directly competitive articles from Mexico or Canada have increased, or 4) there has been a shift in production of articles from the workers' firm or subdivision to Mexico or Canada. Within 30 days from the receipt of the preliminary finding, the Secretary shall determine whether increased imports contributed importantly to worker separations and issue a determination as to whether the petitioners meet the group eligibility requirements for NAFTA-TAA.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   A TAA beneficiary must: 1) be found by the Labor Department to have been adversely affected by increased imports, 2) be certified by the Secretary of Labor as eligible to apply for adjustment assistance, and 3) meet the following individual requirements: 1) his or her unemployment or underemployment must have begun on or after the impact date specified in the Secretary's certification as the beginning of the import-impacted unemployment or underemployment; 2) his or her unemployment must begin before the expiration of the 2-year period beginning on the date on which the Secretary issued the certification for his or her group or before the termination date, if any, specified in the certification. In addition, to be eligible for weekly trade readjustment allowance (TRA) payments her or she must: 1) have been employed with wages at a minimum of $30 per week by the import-affected firm for a least 26 of the previous 52 weeks including the week of total layoff (up to 7 weeks of employer- authorized leave may be counted as qualifying weeks of employment or up to 26 weeks of disability compensation); and 2) be enrolled in or have completed an approved job training program, unless the determination is made that training is either not feasible or not appropriate, in which case a waiver of the training requirement may be issued. II. Individual eligibility requirements for NAFTA-TAA are similar to the TAA requirements described, except that when authorized payment of TRA, the State cannot issue a waiver of the training requirement if the State finds that training is not feasible or appropriate. To receive TRA, the claimant must be enrolled in an approved training program within 6 weeks of the Secretary's issuance of the certification or within 16 weeks of the worker's most recent qualifying separation, whichever is later.

Credentials/Documentation:   None.

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Pre-application Coordination:   None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   To apply for TAA under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, a "Petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance" must be filed directly with the Division of Trade Adjustment Assistance at the address listed below. To apply for NAFTA-TAA under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, a "Petition of NAFTA Transitional Adjustment Assistance" must be filed directly with the State official or organization designated by the Governor of the State in which the workers' firm or subdivision is located. Petitioners may file petitions for both programs if they wish. Copies of the petition forms, in both English and Spanish, are available through the State Employment Security Agencies or from the headquarter Division listed below. The Petition forms may also be downloaded from our web-site at:

Award Procedure:   A Certification of Eligibility to apply for adjustment assistance may be issued by the Secretary of Labor to groups

Deadlines:   None.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   I. For the regular TAA program, eligibility investigations begun by the receipt of a valid petition are completed, and a determination issued, within 60 calendar days of the receipt of the petition. II. For NAFTA-TAA, the determination is issued within 40 days after receipt of the petition by the Governor's agent: 10 days for processing by the State and an additional 30 days for the Department of Labor.

Appeals:   There are two courses of appeal, one administrative and the other judicial. Petitioners aggrieved by a final determination by the Secretary may, within 30 days after notice of such determination is published in the Federal Register, file an application for reconsideration with the Division of Trade Adjustment Assistance. If the determination following reconsideration is negative, they may, within 60 days after notice of the negative determination upon reconsideration, file a petition for review of such determination with the United States Court of International Trade in New York City. Aggrieved petitioners may request judicial appeal without first seeking administrative reconsideration, within 60 days after notice of such determination is published in the Federal Register.

Renewals:   None.


Formula and Matching Requirements:   Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   Cash trade readjustment allowances (TRA) become payable only after workers have exhausted their entitlement to State unemployment compensation including extended benefits. The maximum number of weeks of State unemployment compensation, extended benefits and trade readjustment allowances cannot exceed 52 weeks except that up to 26 additional weeks may be paid to workers while participating in approved training.


Reports:   Not applicable.

Audits:   Not applicable.

Records:   Not applicable.


Account Identification:   16-0326-0-1-999.

Obligations:   (TRA Payments) FY 01 $278,807,000; FY 02 and FY 03 estimates not available. (Reemployment Services--training, job search and relocation obligation and related administrative costs): FY 01 $127,410,000; FY 02 and FY 03 estimates Not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:  
This amount is published yearly in the Report to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, which can be found on the program website at

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From April 1975 through September 2001, the Department of Labor issued certifications in 23,944 cases involving 3,218,861 workers. (These figures are continuously revised to account for actual experience and include both TAA and NAFTA-TAA.)


Regulations at 29 CFR 90, Certification of Eligibility to Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance, and 20 CFR 617, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers.


Regional or Local Office:   Regional offices of the Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor listed in Appendix IV, and local offices of affiliated State Employment Security Agencies.

Headquarters Office:  
Erica Herrmann 200 Constitution Ave N.W., Washington, District of Columbia 20210 Phone: 2026933628

Web Site Address:


Not applicable.


Not applicable.

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