Coordination of the Three Adjustment Assistance Programs with Selected Comments on H.R. 8442

ID-78-5: Published: Dec 6, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 6, 1977.

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The Trade Act of 1974 created a committee to coordinate trade adjustment assistance programs for workers, firms, and communities and to promote efficient and effective delivery of adjustment assistance benefits.

The coordinating committee has accomplished little to meet its goals; its major accomplishment has been to have the International Trade Commission share certain confidential information with the Departments of Labor and Commerce which has helped to avoid duplication. Key weaknesses are the committee's advisory role and its lack of staff and funds. Lack of coordination has affected program awareness, uniformity of eligibility standards, and assessment of available benefits. The committee has made no effort to coordinate publicity on programs which would improve awareness. Lack of uniformity of eligibility standards has led to different interpretations by the Departments on petitions for assistance. Reports by the Departments on available benefits have been inadequate to show how they could be used to facilitate adjustment of workers or firms. H.R. 8442 provides for: improved coordination by giving the committee new responsibilities in cases where the International Trade Commission has found industries to be hurt by imports and in areas related to the community adjustment assistance program; early notification of affected employees and Department Secretaries of major impacts expected by imports; and specific criteria for certifying firms.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: H.R. 8442 should include the word "equitable" in reference to delivery of adjustment assistance and provide for: staff and funds for the committee, inclusion of the International Trade Commission as an advisory member of the Coordinating Committee, and inclusion of a representative from the Department of Agriculture on the committee. A prenotification system would facilitate the determination of threat of injury and would provide a stronger database for estimating employees and firms to be certified. Guidance should be provided for the term "major" and for a firm in an industry which has been ruled to be affected by imports to report any major layoff, closing, or move, regardless of the cause.

    Agency Affected:

 

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