Worker Adjustment Assistance Under the Trade Act of 1974 to New England Workers Has Been Primarily Income Maintenance

HRD-78-153: Published: Oct 31, 1978. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 1978.

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In passing the Trade Act of 1974, Congress recognized that increased imports resulting from expanding international trade could adversely affect certain firms and workers in the United States. Therefore, Congress directed that those segments of the economy affected by increased import competition receive various forms of assistance.

The trade adjustment assistance program for workers in trade-impacted New England industries has not particularly helped workers adjust to the problems caused by increased imports. Weekly trade readjustment allowance payments were usually late and often were inaccurate. Employment services were rarely used because most of the affected workers eventually returned to their original import-impacted employers. State employment security officials indicated that the amount of the trade adjustment allowance reduced workers' incentive to seek employment. Only about 24 percent of those who applied for trade readjustment allowances took advantage of the program's other benefits, including training, job search allowances, and job relocation allowances.

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