In an Op-ed for The Hill, Secretary Solis outlines many of the misconceptions about the Trade Adjustment Assistance program and joins the president in urging Congress to renew a robust TAA as it takes up trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.
“Many Americans don’t know what TAA is. They don’t hear about it unless they need it or the program is up for renewal. Unfortunately, false rumors are endangering this program and the workers who rely upon it. So here are the facts:
It’s not true that TAA is only available to union workers. The truth is, the program is available to all American workers who qualify. In fact, two-thirds of eligible participants are not union members.
It’s not true that TAA helps workers whose job losses have nothing to do with foreign competition. The truth is, workers must meet specific criteria connecting their job losses with foreign trade, such as increased imports or production shifts.
It’s not true that the 2009 TAA improvements doubled the program’s size and cost. This assertion, cited by some critics, was based on a fiscal 2011 budget request from the Department of Labor that relied on earlier cost estimates that didn’t reflect the impact several amendments had on controlling costs. The truth is, the 2009 improvements turned out to be far less costly than those estimates suggested.
Finally, the most damaging falsehood about TAA is the notion that it’s a duplicative subsidy for workers who could get the same help from a different program. The truth is, TAA is tailored to meet the training needs of a narrow group of dislocated workers who are older and have fewer transferable skills or credentials than other laid-off workers.”
To read the full article, visit: http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/168879-the-truth-about-trade-adjustment-assistance.