Baucus and Collins propose extension for Trade Adjustment Assistance

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) recently introduced legislation that would make American workers more competitive in the future economy.

The bill would extend Trade Adjustment Assistance, a critical job training and worker assistance program, through 2020. The legislation would maintain training and assistance for workers in all sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, services and agriculture. It also would protect TAA-eligible workers who are called up for active duty military or full-time National Guard service by allowing them to restart the enrollment process upon their return to the United States.

“TAA programs provide critical assistance to trade-impacted industries in Maine – such as the pulp and paper manufacturing sector, lobstermen and blueberry growers,” Collins said. “Indeed, TAA is a crucial lifeline for those in trade-impacted industries, who through no fault of their own lose their jobs.”

Collins said that in fiscal year 2012, Maine received $9.1 million in TAA funding to provide assistance to trade affected workers but funding is slated to expire in December without intervening legislation.

“Trade Adjustment Assistance helps guarantee that American workers are ready to compete and seize new opportunities in an increasingly competitive global economy,” Baucus said. “That’s why TAA is an essential part of our trade agenda. We’re negotiating deals right now that will break down barriers to U.S. exports in Europe and across Asia. The best way to make sure those trade deals boost our economy is to invest in American workers, and that’s exactly what TAA does.”