TAA, Outsourcing, and Labor Markets
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent expansion of the European Union, coupled with the rapid rise of East Asia and India, has brought more than a billion new workers into the globalized economy over the past twenty years. The extent to which U.S. trade flows and trade policies impact on employment at home—through job creation, retention, wages, benefits, and skills needed—is one of the central policy debates of this decade. NAFTA is cited both as a creator and destroyer of net jobs in the United States, and worries about economic insecurity are a major factor in the current election season.
It is clear that some domestic industries have been severely impacted by trade flows—and there is a federal program to assist workers displaced from these firms and industry sectors. Called the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, this legislation was included as part of the 2002 Trade Act that secured ‘fast-track’ negotiating authority for the President.
On May 18, 2009, an expanded suite of Trade Adjustment Assistance programs took effect. Provisions in the stimulus bill expanded eligibility and increased funding to help workers and firms. Click here for the Forum on Democracy and Trade's statement.
This section reviews the current legislative model, tracks the debate in Congress, and notes state/local government engagement on TAA issues. We will be updating regularly so check back often.