Increased import competition and lost export markets can cause industries to experience declines. Congress directed that efforts begun under the 1962 Trade Expansion Act be expanded under the 1974 Trade Act to help workers, firms, and communities adversely affected by import competition. However, the Departments of Labor and Commerce have experienced difficulty in administering the adjustment assistance programs. GAO studied assistance programs in seven countries including Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and West Germany to determine whether these methods might be of interest to Congress in resolving some of the problems identified in the U.S. adjustment assistance programs.
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