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Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms
NOTE: The text as shown here is as codified at the start of the 112th Congress (2011-2012). See the links below for changes to the law that took effect after that date as well as others enacted during the 112th Congress.

The TAA program was originally enacted as part of the Trade Exaonsion Act of 1962, and has been extensively modified by subsequent amendments. The version shown here is as codified in Chapter 12 of Title 19 of the U.S. Code.
 

 

See also the 2009-2010 amendments that were generally due to sunset in 2011-2012 as well as further 2011 amendments.

 

There are parallel programs providing trade adjustment assistance for workers, communities, and farmers.

 

See also the CENTRAL guide to Labor and the Environment.

 

 

 

 

 


Part 3—Adjustment Assistance for Firms

§2341. Petitions and determinations

(a) Filing of petition; receipt of petition; initiation of investigation

A petition for a certification of eligibility to apply for adjustment assistance under this part may be filed with the Secretary of Commerce (hereinafter in this part referred to as the “Secretary”) by a firm (including any agricultural firm or service sector firm) or its representative. Upon receipt of the petition, the Secretary shall promptly publish notice in the Federal Register that the Secretary has received the petition and initiated an investigation.

(b) Public hearing

If the petitioner, or any other person, organization, or group found by the Secretary to have a substantial interest in the proceedings, submits not later than 10 days after the date of the Secretary's publication under subsection (a) of this section a request for a hearing, the Secretary shall provide for a public hearing and afford such interested persons an opportunity to be present, to produce evidence, and to be heard.

(c) Certification

(1) The Secretary shall certify a firm (including any agricultural firm or service sector firm) as eligible to apply for adjustment assistance under this part if the Secretary determines—

(A) that a significant number or proportion of the workers in such firm have become totally or partially separated, or are threatened to become totally or partially separated,

(B) that—

(i) sales or production, or both, of the firm have decreased absolutely,

(ii) sales or production, or both, of an article or service that accounted for not less than 25 percent of the total sales or production of the firm during the 12-month period preceding the most recent 12-month period for which date are available have decreased absolutely,

(iii) sales or production, or both, of the firm during the most recent 12-month period for which data are available have decreased compared to—

(I) the average annual sales or production for the firm during the 24-month period preceding that 12-month period, or

(II) the average annual sales or production for the firm during the 36-month period preceding that 12-month period, and

(iv) sales or production, or both, of an article or service that accounted for not less than 25 percent of the total sales or production of the firm during the most recent 12-month period for which data are available have decreased compared to—

(I) the average annual sales or production for the article or service during the 24-month period preceding that 12-month period, or

(II) the average annual sales or production for the article or service during the 36-month period preceding that 12-month period, and

(C) increases of imports of articles or services like or directly competitive with articles which are produced or services which are supplied by such firm contributed importantly to such total or partial separation, or threat thereof, and to such decline in sales or production.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1)(C)—

(A) The term “contributed importantly” means a cause which is important but not necessarily more important than any other cause.

(B)(i) Any firm which engages in exploration or drilling for oil or natural gas shall be considered to be a firm producing oil or natural gas.

(ii) Any firm that engages in exploration or drilling for oil or natural gas, or otherwise produces oil or natural gas, shall be considered to be producing articles directly competitive with imports of oil and with imports of natural gas.

(d) Allowable period for determination

A determination shall be made by the Secretary as soon as possible after the date on which the petition is filed under this section, but in any event not later than 40 days after that date.

(e) Basis for Secretary's determinations

For purposes of subsection (c)(1)(C), the Secretary may determine that there are increased imports of like or directly competitive articles or services, if customers accounting for a significant percentage of the decrease in the sales or production of the firm certify to the Secretary that such customers have increased their imports of such articles or services from a foreign country, either absolutely or relative to their acquisition of such articles or services from suppliers located in the United States.

(f) Notification to firms of availability of benefits

Upon receiving notice from the Secretary of Labor under section 2275 of this title of the identity of a firm that is covered by a certification issued under section 2273 of this title, the Secretary of Commerce shall notify the firm of the availability of adjustment assistance under this part.

 

§2342. Approval of adjustment proposals

(a) Application for adjustment assistance

A firm certified under section 2341 of this title as eligible to apply for adjustment assistance may, at any time within 2 years after the date of such certification, file an application with the Secretary for adjustment assistance under this part. Such application shall include a proposal for the economic adjustment of such firm.

(b) Technical assistance

(1) Adjustment assistance under this part consists of technical assistance. The Secretary shall approve a firm's application for adjustment assistance only if the Secretary determines that the firm's adjustment proposal—

(A) is reasonably calculated to materially contribute to the economic adjustment of the firm,

(B) gives adequate consideration to the interests of the workers of such firm, and

(C) demonstrates that the firm will make all reasonable efforts to use its own resources for economic development.

(2) The Secretary shall make a determination as soon as possible after the date on which an application is filed under this section, but in no event later than 60 days after such date.

(c) Termination of certification of eligibility

Whenever the Secretary determines that any firm no longer requires assistance under this part, he shall terminate the certification of eligibility of such firm and promptly have notice of such termination published in the Federal Register. Such termination shall take effect on the termination date specified by the Secretary.

 

§2343. Technical assistance

(a) Discretion of Secretary; types of assistance

The Secretary may provide a firm, on terms and conditions as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, with such technical assistance as in his judgment will carry out the purposes of this part with respect to the firm. The technical assistance furnished under this part may consist of one or more of the following:

(1) Assistance to a firm in preparing its petition for certification of eligibility under section 2341 of this title.

(2) Assistance to a certified firm in developing a proposal for its economic adjustment.

(3) Assistance to a certified firm in the implementation of such a proposal.

(b) Utilization of existing agencies, private individuals, etc., in furnishing assistance; grants to intermediary organizations

(1) The Secretary shall furnish technical assistance under this part through existing agencies and through private individuals, firms, or institutions (including private consulting services), or by grants to intermediary organizations (including Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers).

(2) In the case of assistance furnished through private individuals, firms, or institutions (including private consulting services), the Secretary may share the cost thereof (but not more than 75 percent of such cost for assistance described in paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection (a) of this section may be borne by the United States).

(3) The Secretary may make grants to intermediary organizations in order to defray up to 100 percent of administrative expenses incurred in providing such technical assistance to a firm.

 

§2344. Oversight and administration

(a) In general

The Secretary shall, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriations Acts, provide grants to intermediary organizations (referred to in section 2343(b)(1) of this title) throughout the United States pursuant to agreements with such intermediary organizations. Each such agreement shall require the intermediary organization to provide benefits to firms certified under section 2341 of this title. The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, provide by October 1, 2010, that contracts entered into with intermediary organizations be for a 12-month period and that all such contracts have the same beginning date and the same ending date.

(b) Distribution of funds

(1) In general

Not later than 90 days after February 17, 2009, the Secretary shall develop a methodology for the distribution of funds among the intermediary organizations described in subsection (a).

(2) Prompt initial distribution

The methodology described in paragraph (1) shall ensure the prompt initial distribution of funds and establish additional criteria governing the apportionment and distribution of the remainder of such funds among the intermediary organizations.

(3) Criteria

The methodology described in paragraph (1) shall include criteria based on the data in the annual report on the trade adjustment assistance for firms program described in section 2356 of this title.

(c) Requirements for contracts

An agreement with an intermediary organization described in subsection (a) shall require the intermediary organization to contract for the supply of services to carry out grants under this part in accordance with terms and conditions that are consistent with guidelines established by the Secretary.

(d) Consultations

(1) Consultations regarding methodology

The Secretary shall consult with the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives—

(A) not less than 30 days before finalizing the methodology described in subsection (b); and

(B) not less than 60 days before adopting any changes to such methodology.

(2) Consultations regarding guidelines

The Secretary shall consult with the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives not less than 60 days before finalizing the guidelines described in subsection (c) or adopting any subsequent changes to such guidelines.

 

§2345. Authorization of appropriations

(a) In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the provisions of this part $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2010 and $5,800,000 for the 6-week period beginning January 1, 2011, and ending February 12, 2011. Amounts appropriated pursuant to this subsection shall—

(1) be available to provide adjustment assistance to firms that file a petition for such assistance pursuant to this part on or before February 12, 2011; and

(2) otherwise remain available until expended.

(b) Personnel

Of the amounts appropriated pursuant to this section for each fiscal year, $350,000 shall be available for full-time positions in the Department of Commerce to administer the provisions of this part. Of such funds the Secretary shall make available to the Economic Development Administration such sums as may be necessary to establish the position of Director of Adjustment Assistance for Firms and such other full-time positions as may be appropriate to administer the provisions of this part.

 

§2346. Repealed. Pub. L. 111–5, div. B, title I, §1864(a)(1), Feb. 17, 2009, 123 Stat. 397

 

§2347. Repealed. Pub. L. 111–5, div. B, title I, §1864(a)(1), Feb. 17, 2009, 123 Stat. 397

 

§2348. Protective provisions

(a) Recordkeeping

Each recipient of adjustment assistance under this part shall keep records which fully disclose the amount and disposition by such recipient of the proceeds, if any, of such adjustment assistance, and which will facilitate an effective audit. The recipient shall also keep such other records as the Secretary may prescribe.

(b) Audit and examination

The Secretary and the Comptroller General of the United States shall have access for the purpose of audit and examination to any books, documents, papers, and records of the recipient pertaining to adjustment assistance under this part.

(c) Certifications

No adjustment assistance under this part shall be extended to any firm unless the owners, partners, or officers certify to the Secretary—

(1) the names of any attorneys, agents, and other persons engaged by or on behalf of the firm for the purpose of expediting applications for such adjustment assistance; and

(2) the fees paid or to be paid to any such person.

 

§2349. Penalties

Any person who—

(1) makes a false statement of a material fact knowing it to be false, or knowingly fails to disclose a material fact, or willfully overvalues any security, for the purpose of influencing in any way a determination under this part, or for the purpose of obtaining money, property, or anything of value under this part, or

(2) makes a false statement of a material fact knowing it to be false, or knowingly fails to disclose a material fact, when providing information to the Secretary during an investigation of a petition under this part,

shall be imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or fined under title 18, or both.

 

§2350. Civil actions

In providing technical assistance under this part the Secretary may sue and be sued in any court of record of a State having general jurisdiction or in any United States district court, and jurisdiction is conferred upon such district court to determine such controversies without regard to the amount in controversy; but no attachment, injunction, garnishment, or other similar process, mesne or final, shall be issued against him or his property. Nothing in this section shall be construed to except the activities pursuant to section 2343 of this title from the application of sections 516, 547, and 2679 of title 28.

 

§2351. “Firm” defined

For purposes of this part:

(1) Firm

The term “firm” includes an individual proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, association, corporation (including a development corporation), business trust, cooperative, trustee in bankruptcy, and receiver under decree of any court. A firm, together with any predecessor or successor firm, or any affiliated firm controlled or substantially beneficially owned by substantially the same persons, may be considered a single firm where necessary to prevent unjustifiable benefits.

(2) Service sector firm

The term “service sector firm” means a firm engaged in the business of supplying services.

 

§2352. Regulations

The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this part.

 

§2353. Repealed. Pub. L. 97–35, title XXV, §2526, Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 893

 

§2354. Study by Secretary of Commerce when International Trade Commission begins investigation

(a) Subject matter of study

Whenever the Commission begins an investigation under section 2252 of this title with respect to an industry, the Commission shall immediately notify the Secretary of such investigation, and the Secretary shall immediately begin a study of—

(1) the number of firms in the domestic industry producing the like or directly competitive article which have been or are likely to be certified as eligible for adjustment assistance, and

(2) the extent to which the orderly adjustment of such firms to the import competition may be facilitated through the use of existing programs.

(b) Report; publication

The report of the Secretary of the study under subsection (a) of this section shall be made to the President not later than 15 days after the day on which the Commission makes its report under section 2252(f) of this title. Upon making its report to the President, the Secretary shall also promptly make it public (with the exception of information which the Secretary determines to be confidential) and shall have a summary of it published in the Federal Register.

(c) Information to firms

Whenever the Commission makes an affirmative finding under section 2252(b) of this title that increased imports are a substantial cause of serious injury or threat thereof with respect to an industry, the Secretary shall make available, to the extent feasible, full information to the firms in such industry about programs which may facilitate the orderly adjustment to import competition of such firms, and he shall provide assistance in the preparation and processing of petitions and applications of such firms for program benefits.

 

§2355. Assistance to industry; authorization of appropriations

(a) Technical assistance

The Secretary may provide technical assistance, on such terms and conditions as the Secretary deems appropriate, for the establishment of industrywide programs for new product development, new process development, export development, or other uses consistent with the purposes of this part. Such technical assistance may be provided through existing agencies, private individuals, firms, universities and institutions, and by grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements to associations, unions, or other nonprofit industry organizations in which a substantial number of firms or workers have been certified as eligible to apply for adjustment assistance under section 2273 or 2341 of this title.

(b) Expenditures

Expenditures for technical assistance under this section may be up to $10,000,000 annually per industry and shall be made under such terms and conditions as the Secretary deems appropriate.

 

§2356. Annual report on trade adjustment assistance for firms

(a) In general

Not later than December 15, 2009, and each year thereafter, the Secretary of Commerce shall prepare a report containing data regarding the trade adjustment assistance for firms program provided for in chapter 3 of title II of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2341 et seq.) for the preceding fiscal year. The data shall include the following:

(1) The number of firms that inquired about the program.

(2) The number of petitions filed under section 251 [19 U.S.C. 2341].

(3) The number of petitions certified and denied.

(4) The average time for processing petitions.

(5) The number of petitions filed and firms certified for each congressional district of the United States.

(6) The number of firms that received assistance in preparing their petitions.

(7) The number of firms that received assistance developing business recovery plans.

(8) The number of business recovery plans approved and denied by the Secretary of Commerce.

(9) Sales, employment, and productivity at each firm participating in the program at the time of certification.

(10) Sales, employment, and productivity at each firm upon completion of the program and each year for the 2-year period following completion.

(11) The financial assistance received by each firm participating in the program.

(12) The financial contribution made by each firm participating in the program.

(13) The types of technical assistance included in the business recovery plans of firms participating in the program.

(14) The number of firms leaving the program before completing the project or projects in their business recovery plans and the reason the project was not completed.

(b) Classification of data

To the extent possible, in collecting and reporting the data described in subsection (a), the Secretary shall classify the data by intermediary organization, State, and national totals.

(c) Report to Congress; publication

The Secretary of Commerce shall—

(1) submit the report described in subsection (a) to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives; and

(2) publish the report in the Federal Register and on the website of the Department of Commerce.

(d) Protection of confidential information

The Secretary of Commerce may not release information described in subsection (a) that the Secretary considers to be confidential business information unless the person submitting the confidential business information had notice, at the time of submission, that such information would be released by the Secretary, or such person subsequently consents to the release of the information. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the Secretary from providing such confidential business information to a court in camera or to another party under a protective order issued by a court.