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Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program Information


Government Overview

Federal Trade Act: Statutes, Regulations, Directories and Guidances


U.S. Dept of Labor: Employment and Training Administration


Government Reports

There is a small positive and statistically significant relationship between program participation and sales. Overall, we estimate that the effect of participation in the program was an increase in firm sales, ranging from 5 to 6 percent on average, if all other factors are held constant.


As imports rose, sales declined for TAA for Firms clients. Our analysis shows that import penetration was highly statistically significant and most likely had a very negative effect on firm sales.


TAA for Firms participation combined with market growth increased firm performance. We found a statistically significant and positive effect of industry market growth on firm sales after firms participated in the program.


Our survey of TAA for Firms participants also showed that the program had a positive effect.

–United States Government Accountability Office, “TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE: Commerce Program Has Helped Manufacturing and Services Firms, but Measures, Data, and Funding Formula Could Be Enhanced,” Statement of J. Alfredo Gomez, Acting Director, International Affairs and Trade Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency, and Financial Management, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives.

Following completion of assistance from EDA’s TAAF program, firms reported that, on average, sales increased by 26.8 percent, employment increased by 13.2 percent, and productivity increased by 11.9 percent.

–Fiscal Year 2012, Annual Report to Congress, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, December 15, 2012.

For now, the current expansion of TAA to service-sector workers will help mitigate the harmful effects that advancements in communication and technology have brought in the form of global competition. However, policymakers must examine the stock of existing education and job training systems to ensure they are preparing American workers for the U.S. jobs of the future.

–“Trade Adjustment Assistance: Helping Workers Harmed by Global Competition In the Market for Services,” by the Chairman’s [Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.] Staff of the Joint Economic Committee, December 12, 2012


Research Reports

TAA led to increased receipt of reemployment services. According to survey data, more than 94 percent of TAA participants received at least one reemployment service, while 77 percent of comparison group members reported doing so.

Participation in TAA was associated with large increases in receipt of education and training and the attainment of educational credentials. Nearly 66 percent of TAA participants received training, compared to 27 percent of comparisons, and the average TAA participant spent about 8 times as many weeks in education and training as the average comparison group member (49 weeks, compared to 6 weeks).


Impacts of TAA on engagement in any productive activity were small. To a large degree, TAA participants engaged in training in the period just after job loss, in lieu of seeking and obtaining employment.


The main impact study findings used the comparison sample of UI claimants and showed that, in the final year of the follow-up period, TAA participants had lower earnings than the comparison group, but worked about the same number of weeks. As was hypothesized, during the first two years of the observation period, when many TAA participants were in training, the labor market outcomes for participants were significantly worse than for their matched comparison group members who were not eligible for TAA.


–“Estimated Impacts for Participants in the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program Under the 2002 Amendments,” Final Report Prepared as Part of the Evaluation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, August, 2012, Social Policy Research Associates and Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

These findings on TAA eligible workers’ profiles, receipt of services, and experiences with the program can help guide policymakers in assessing and improving the implementation of the TAA program as the 2009 program amendments are put into place. As ARRA expands eligibility for TAA and increases the accessibility and flexibility of benefits, it may lead to greater rates of service receipt among eligible workers. Findings from this report suggest that the changes to HCTC and ATAA in particular may lead to increases in rates of application for these benefits by addressing some concerns that discouraged workers in our sample from applying.

–“National Evaluation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program: Characteristics of Workers Eligible Under the 2002 TAA Program and Their Early Program Experiences,” Final Report, April,2010, by Sarah Dolfin and Jillian Berk, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.


More Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. reports on TAA can be found here.