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North American Free Trade Agreement: Assessment of Major Issues

GGD-93-137 Published: Sep 09, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 09, 1993.
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GAO provided an overview of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), focusing on the: (1) provisions to liberalize trade and investment in North America; (2) special provisions for trade-sensitive economic sectors; (3) rules to implement the agreement; and (4) potential impacts on the economy, environment, labor, and immigration.

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Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
If Congress decides to ratify NAFTA, it should also ensure that an effective, well-funded worker adjustment assistance program is in place to facilitate the structural adjustment that may be needed in the workplace.
Closed – Implemented
Title V of the NAFTA Implementation Act (P.L. 103-182, December 8, 1993) contains Congress' response to the need for a worker adjustment assistance program to facilitate structural adjustments required due to NAFTA's effects on trade and investment. Subtitle A of title V, the NAFTA Worker Security Act, establishes a transitional program for affected workers through amendment of title II of the Trade Act of 1974. This program authorizes, and specifies the terms under which workers may be certified as eligible for, comprehensive assistance including employment services, training, and various allowances. It authorizes up to $30 million per fiscal year for training and authorizes appropriation of such sums as may be necessary to carry out the program for fiscal years 1994-1998. This appears to fully respond to the matter for consideration. The Administration has announced plans to develop a more integrated, comprehensive program of assistance for dislocated workers.

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