In the current administration, international trade has been blamed for the loss of jobs and a huge deficit in manufacturing. As a result, discussions continue to swirl around imposing high tariffs against goods imported from countries such as China and Mexico.
However, what is often left out of the discussion is a program, which goes as far back as 1974, designed to assist workers, firms, and farmers who have been harmed by foreign competition. This program is known as the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. Right here in Los Angeles, CA, there are resources that firms can tap into in order to mitigate the negative impact of trade in their particular industry and enhance their ability to compete.
The U.S. Congress approved the TAA program in 2011. The University of Southern California, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Commerce, runs the Western Trade Adjustment Assistance Center’s (TAAC) Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) cost sharing grant program. Manufacturers, agricultural producers, and service providers can apply for the program, provided that they have been negatively impacted by foreign trade. According to a TAAC representative, “If a company qualifies, the program can provide federal tax dollars that can be used to help underwrite key consulting projects to improve their competitive position.” To determine your eligibility, take the TAAF litmus test at http://wesrac.usc.edu/wtaac/petition/litmustest.asp.
If you have an established company that has been negatively impacted by an influx of foreign competition, contact GRIIT to discuss possible projects to boost your competitiveness within the TAAF program and to be put in touch with our contact at the TAAC.
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