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Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (Petitions and Determinations)
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The TAA program was originally enacted as part of the Trade Exaonsion Act of 1962, and has been extensively modified by subsequent amendments.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.
 

 

The text shown here is Subpart A, Petitions and Determinations. See also the subparts dealing with Program Benefits and General Provisions.

 

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 firms, communities, and farmers.

 

See also the CENTRAL guide to Labor and the Environment.

 

 

 

 

 


Part 2—Adjustment Assistance for Workers

Subpart A—Petitions and Determinations

§2271. Petitions

(a) Filing of petitions; assistance; publication of notice

(1) A petition for certification of eligibility to apply for adjustment assistance for a group of workers under this part may be filed simultaneously with the Secretary of Labor and with the Governor of the State in which such workers’ firm (as defined in section 2319 of this title) is located by any of the following:

(A) The group of workers.

(B) The certified or recognized union or other duly authorized representative of such workers.

(C) Employers of such workers, one-stop operators or one-stop partners (as defined in section 101 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2801)), including State employment security agencies, or the State dislocated worker unit established under title I of such Act [29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.], on behalf of such workers.

(2) Upon receipt of a petition filed under paragraph (1), the Governor shall—

(A) ensure that rapid response activities and appropriate core and intensive services (as described in section 134 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864)) authorized under other Federal laws are made available to the workers covered by the petition to the extent authorized under such laws; and

(B) assist the Secretary in the review of the petition by verifying such information and providing such other assistance as the Secretary may request.

(3) Upon receipt of the petition, the Secretary shall promptly publish notice in the Federal Register and on the website of the Department of Labor that the Secretary has received the petition and initiated an investigation.

(b) Hearing

If the petitioner, or any other person 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.

 

§2272. Group eligibility requirements; agricultural workers; oil and natural gas industry

(a) In general

A group of workers shall be certified by the Secretary as eligible to apply for adjustment assistance under this part pursuant to a petition filed under section 2271 of this title if the Secretary determines that—

(1) a significant number or proportion of the workers in such workers’ firm have become totally or partially separated, or are threatened to become totally or partially separated; and

(2)(A)(i) the sales or production, or both, of such firm have decreased absolutely;

(ii)(I) imports of articles or services like or directly competitive with articles produced or services supplied by such firm have increased;

(II) imports of articles like or directly competitive with articles—

(aa) into which one or more component parts produced by such firm are directly incorporated, or

(bb) which are produced directly using services supplied by such firm,

have increased; or

(III) imports of articles directly incorporating one or more component parts produced outside the United States that are like or directly competitive with imports of articles incorporating one or more component parts produced by such firm have increased; and

(iii) the increase in imports described in clause (ii) contributed importantly to such workers’ separation or threat of separation and to the decline in the sales or production of such firm; or

(B)(i)(I) there has been a shift by such workers’ firm to a foreign country in the production of articles or the supply of services like or directly competitive with articles which are produced or services which are supplied by such firm; or

(II) such workers’ firm has acquired from a foreign country articles or services that are like or directly competitive with articles which are produced or services which are supplied by such firm; and

(ii) the shift described in clause (i)(I) or the acquisition of articles or services described in clause (i)(II) contributed importantly to such workers’ separation or threat of separation.

(b) Adversely affected workers in public agencies

A group of workers in a public agency shall be certified by the Secretary as eligible to apply for adjustment assistance under this part pursuant to a petition filed under section 2271 of this title if the Secretary determines that—

(1) a significant number or proportion of the workers in the public agency have become totally or partially separated, or are threatened to become totally or partially separated;

(2) the public agency has acquired from a foreign country services like or directly competitive with services which are supplied by such agency; and

(3) the acquisition of services described in paragraph (2) contributed importantly to such workers’ separation or threat of separation.

(c) Adversely affected secondary workers

A group of workers shall be certified by the Secretary as eligible to apply for trade adjustment assistance benefits under this part pursuant to a petition filed under section 2271 of this title if the Secretary determines that—

(1) a significant number or proportion of the workers in the workers’ firm or an appropriate subdivision of the firm have become totally or partially separated, or are threatened to become totally or partially separated;

(2) the workers’ firm is a supplier or downstream producer to a firm that employed a group of workers who received a certification of eligibility under subsection (a) of this section, and such supply or production is related to the article or service that was the basis for such certification (as defined in subsection (d)(3) and (4) of this section); and

(3) either—

(A) the workers’ firm is a supplier and the component parts it supplied to the firm described in paragraph (2) accounted for at least 20 percent of the production or sales of the workers’ firm; or

(B) a loss of business by the workers’ firm with the firm described in paragraph (2) contributed importantly to the workers’ separation or threat of separation determined under paragraph (1).

(d) Definitions

For purposes of this section—

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

(2)(A) Any firm that engages in exploration or drilling for oil or natural gas shall be considered to be a firm producing oil or natural gas.

(B) 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.

(3) Downstream producer.—

(A) In general.—The term “downstream producer” means a firm that performs additional, value-added production processes or services directly for another firm for articles or services with respect to which a group of workers in such other firm has been certified under subsection (a).

(B) Value-added production processes or services.—For purposes of subparagraph (A), value-added production processes or services include final assembly, finishing, testing, packaging, or maintenance or transportation services.

(4) Supplier.—The term “supplier” means a firm that produces and supplies directly to another firm component parts for articles, or services, used in the production of articles or in the supply of services, as the case may be, that were the basis for a certification of eligibility under subsection (a) of this section of a group of workers employed by such other firm.

(5) Reference to firm.—For purposes of subsection (a), the term “firm” does not include a public agency.

(e) Basis for Secretary's determinations

(1) In general

The Secretary shall, in determining whether to certify a group of workers under section 2273 of this title, obtain from the workers’ firm, or a customer of the workers’ firm, information the Secretary determines to be necessary to make the certification, through questionnaires and in such other manner as the Secretary determines appropriate.

(2) Additional information

The Secretary may seek additional information to determine whether to certify a group of workers under subsection (a), (b), or (c)—

(A) by contacting—

(i) officials or employees of the workers’ firm;

(ii) officials of customers of the workers’ firm;

(iii) officials of certified or recognized unions or other duly authorized representatives of the group of workers; or

(iv) one-stop operators or one-stop partners (as defined in section 2801 of title 29); or

(B) by using other available sources of information.

(3) Verification of information

(A) Certification

The Secretary shall require a firm or customer to certify—

(i) all information obtained under paragraph (1) from the firm or customer (as the case may be) through questionnaires; and

(ii) all other information obtained under paragraph (1) from the firm or customer (as the case may be) on which the Secretary relies in making a determination under section 2273 of this title, unless the Secretary has a reasonable basis for determining that such information is accurate and complete without being certified.

(B) Use of subpoenas

The Secretary shall require the workers’ firm or a customer of the workers’ firm to provide information requested by the Secretary under paragraph (1) by subpoena pursuant to section 2321 of this title if the firm or customer (as the case may be) fails to provide the information within 20 days after the date of the Secretary's request, unless the firm or customer (as the case may be) demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the firm or customer (as the case may be) will provide the information within a reasonable period of time.

(C) Protection of confidential information

The Secretary may not release information obtained under paragraph (1) that the Secretary considers to be confidential business information unless the firm or customer (as the case may be) submitting the confidential business information had notice, at the time of submission, that the information would be released by the Secretary, or the firm or customer (as the case may be) subsequently consents to the release of the information. Nothing in this subparagraph 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.

(f) Firms identified by the International Trade Commission

Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, a group of workers covered by a petition filed under section 2271 of this title shall be certified under subsection (a) as eligible to apply for adjustment assistance under this part if—

(1) the workers’ firm is publicly identified by name by the International Trade Commission as a member of a domestic industry in an investigation resulting in—

(A) an affirmative determination of serious injury or threat thereof under section 2252(b)(1) of this title;

(B) an affirmative determination of market disruption or threat thereof under section 2451(b)(1) of this title; or

(C) an affirmative final determination of material injury or threat thereof under section 1671d(b)(1)(A) or 1673d(b)(1)(A) of this title;

(2) the petition is filed during the one-year period beginning on the date on which—

(A) a summary of the report submitted to the President by the International Trade Commission under section 2252(f)(1) of this title with respect to the affirmative determination described in paragraph (1)(A) is published in the Federal Register under section 2252(f)(3) of this title; or

(B) notice of an affirmative determination described in subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (1) is published in the Federal Register; and

(3) the workers have become totally or partially separated from the workers’ firm within—

(A) the one-year period described in paragraph (2); or

(B) notwithstanding section 2273(b) of this title, the one-year period preceding the one-year period described in paragraph (2).

 

§2273. Determinations by Secretary of Labor

(a) Certification of eligibility

As soon as possible after the date on which a petition is filed under section 2271 of this title, but in any event not later than 40 days after that date, the Secretary shall determine whether the petitioning group meets the requirements of section 2272 of this title and shall issue a certification of eligibility to apply for assistance under this subpart covering workers in any group which meets such requirements. Each certification shall specify the date on which the total or partial separation began or threatened to begin.

(b) Workers covered by certification

A certification under this section shall not apply to any worker whose last total or partial separation from the firm before the worker's application under section 2291 of this title occurred more than one year before the date of the petition on which such certification was granted.

(c) Publication of determination in Federal Register

Upon reaching a determination on a petition, the Secretary shall promptly publish a summary of the determination in the Federal Register and on the website of the Department of Labor, together with the Secretary's reasons for making such determination.

(d) Termination of certification

Whenever the Secretary determines, with respect to any certification of eligibility of the workers of a firm, that total or partial separations from such firm are no longer attributable to the conditions specified in section 2272 of this title, the Secretary shall terminate such certification and promptly have notice of such termination published in the Federal Register and on the website of the Department of Labor, together with the Secretary's reasons for making such determination. Such termination shall apply only with respect to total or partial separations occurring after the termination date specified by the Secretary.

(e) Standards for investigations and determinations

(1) In general

The Secretary shall establish standards, including data requirements, for investigations of petitions filed under section 2271 of this title and criteria for making determinations under subsection (a).

(2) Consultations

Not less than 90 days before issuing a final rule with respect to the standards required under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives with respect to such rule.

 

§2274. Study and notifications regarding certain affirmative determinations; industry notification of assistance

(a) Study of domestic industry

Whenever the International Trade Commission (hereafter referred to in this part as 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 workers in the domestic industry producing the like or directly competitive article who have been or are likely to be certified as eligible for adjustment assistance, and

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

(b) Report by the Secretary

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 his 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 and on the website of the Department of Labor.

(c) Notifications following affirmative global safeguard determinations

Upon making an affirmative determination under section 2252(b)(1) of this title, the Commission shall promptly notify the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Commerce and, in the case of a determination with respect to an agricultural commodity, the Secretary of Agriculture, of the determination.

(d) Notifications following affirmative bilateral or plurilateral safeguard determinations

(1) Notifications of determinations of market disruption

Upon making an affirmative determination under section 2451(b)(1) of this title, the Commission shall promptly notify the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Commerce and, in the case of a determination with respect to an agricultural commodity, the Secretary of Agriculture, of the determination.

(2) Notifications regarding trade agreement safeguards

Upon making an affirmative determination in a proceeding initiated under an applicable safeguard provision (other than a provision described in paragraph (3)) that is enacted to implement a trade agreement to which the United States is a party, the Commission shall promptly notify the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Commerce and, in the case of a determination with respect to an agricultural commodity, the Secretary of Agriculture, of the determination.

(3) Notifications regarding textile and apparel safeguards

Upon making an affirmative determination in a proceeding initiated under any safeguard provision relating to textile and apparel articles that is enacted to implement a trade agreement to which the United States is a party, the President shall promptly notify the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Commerce of the determination.

(e) Notifications following certain affirmative determinations under title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930

Upon making an affirmative determination under section 705(b)(1)(A) or 735(b)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1671d(b)(1)(A) and 1673d(b)(1)(A)), the Commission shall promptly notify the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Commerce and, in the case of a determination with respect to an agricultural commodity, the Secretary of Agriculture, of the determination.

(f) Industry notification of assistance

Upon receiving a notification of a determination under subsection (c), (d), or (e) with respect to a domestic industry—

(1) the Secretary of Labor shall—

(A) notify the representatives of the domestic industry affected by the determination, firms publicly identified by name during the course of the proceeding relating to the determination, and any certified or recognized union or, to the extent practicable, other duly authorized representative of workers employed by such representatives of the domestic industry, of—

(i) the allowances, training, employment services, and other benefits available under this part;

(ii) the manner in which to file a petition and apply for such benefits; and

(iii) the availability of assistance in filing such petitions;

(B) notify the Governor of each State in which one or more firms in the industry described in subparagraph (A) are located of the Commission's determination and the identity of the firms; and

(C) upon request, provide any assistance that is necessary to file a petition under section 2271 of this title;

(2) the Secretary of Commerce shall—

(A) notify the representatives of the domestic industry affected by the determination and any firms publicly identified by name during the course of the proceeding relating to the determination of—

(i) the benefits available under part 3;

(ii) the manner in which to file a petition and apply for such benefits; and

(iii) the availability of assistance in filing such petitions; and

(B) upon request, provide any assistance that is necessary to file a petition under section 2341 of this title; and

(3) in the case of an affirmative determination based upon imports of an agricultural commodity, the Secretary of Agriculture shall—

(A) notify representatives of the domestic industry affected by the determination and any agricultural commodity producers publicly identified by name during the course of the proceeding relating to the determination of—

(i) the benefits available under part 6;

(ii) the manner in which to file a petition and apply for such benefits; and

(iii) the availability of assistance in filing such petitions; and

(B) upon request, provide any assistance that is necessary to file a petition under section 2401a of this title.

(g) Representatives of the domestic industry

For purposes of subsection (f), the term “representatives of the domestic industry” means the persons that petitioned for relief in connection with—

(1) a proceeding under section 2252 or 2451 of this title;

(2) a proceeding under section 702(b) or 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1671d(b) and 1673d(b)); or

(3) any safeguard investigation described in subsection (d)(2) or (d)(3).

 

§2275. Benefit information for workers

(a) The Secretary shall provide full information to workers about the benefit allowances, training, and other employment services available under this part and about the petition and application procedures, and the appropriate filing dates, for such allowances, training and services. The Secretary shall provide whatever assistance is necessary to enable groups of workers to prepare petitions or applications for program benefits. The Secretary shall make every effort to insure that cooperating State agencies fully comply with the agreements entered into under section 2311(a) of this title and shall periodically review such compliance. The Secretary shall inform the State Board for Vocational Education or equivalent agency and other public or private agencies, institutions, and employers, as appropriate, of each certification issued under section 2273 of this title and of projections, if available, of the needs for training under section 2296 of this title as a result of such certification.

(b)(1) The Secretary shall provide written notice through the mail of the benefits available under this part to each worker whom the Secretary has reason to believe is covered by a certification made under this subpart—

(A) at the time such certification is made, if the worker was partially or totally separated from the adversely affected employment before such certification, or

(B) at the time of the total or partial separation of the worker from the adversely affected employment, if subparagraph (A) does not apply.

(2) The Secretary shall publish notice of the benefits available under this part to workers covered by each certification made under this subpart in newspapers of general circulation in the areas in which such workers reside.

(c) Upon issuing a certification under section 2273 of this title, the Secretary shall notify the Secretary of Commerce of the identity of each firm covered by the certification.