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.

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