Certifying Workers for Adjustment Assistance--The First Year Under the Trade Act

ID-77-28: Published: May 31, 1977. Publicly Released: May 31, 1977.

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Although many workers have benefited from the adjustment assistance program, which provides various forms of assistance to workers who are adversely affected by changes in the patterns of international trade, several problems need to be corrected.

These problems include unawareness by most nonunion workers of the program; nonspecific criteria and guidelines for evaluating workers' petitions for assistance; different interpretations of the law, which caused inconsistency; and delays in processing applications. Possible inconsistencies in the way Labor interpreted definitions of products and evaluated supporting evidence related to worker petitions included interpretations which fluctuated between broad and narrow, particularly with regard to product definition; determinations that varied, particularly with regard to the time periods used to determine what data were relevant in measuring production declines and import increases; and methods that did not consistently determine the link between increased imports and declines in production.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Matter: The Secretary of Labor should develop criteria and guidelines for evaluating worker petitions. In formalizing program guidelines, the Secretary should draw on the opinions and suggestions of labor organizations and industry leaders. The Congress should modify the Trade Act to include all workers affected by increased import competition. Excluding workers because their firms do not have corporate ties to the producer of the finished product appears to be inconsistent with the intent of the Act.


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