Trade Adjustment Assistance

Under the program, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides technical assistance and cash benefits to eligible farmers and fishermen if increased imports have contributed importantly to a price decline of at least 20 percent.

Technical assistance under the program can provide access to a
wide variety of resources from USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), in partnership with a county Extension Service, to assist producers in exploring alternative crops and marketing techniques.

The program's goal is to help producers respond proactively to import competition through training, cash benefits, and employment services.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - Consult the local phone directory for location of the nearest county FSA office.

If no listing, contact the appropriate State FSA office listed in the Farm Service Agency section of Appendix IV of the Catalog or on the WEB at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/edso/statedefault.htm.


Program Accomplishments

None.

Uses and Use Restrictions

This program makes payments to eligible farmers, ranchers, fish farmers, and fishermen competing with imported aquaculture products.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

USDA's FAS will certify producers eligibility for adjustment assistance if they can demonstrate that their prices are less than or equal to 80 percent of the national average price during the previous 5 marketing years and that increases in imports of like or competitive products "contributed importantly" to the decline in prices.

They may then apply individually for benefits.

Once a petition has been certified, an applicant is eligible for TAA benefits if: (1) the applicant is an owner, operator, landlord, tenant, or sharecropper who shares in the risk of producing a crop and who is entitled to share in the crop availability for marketing from the farm, or qualified fishermen; (2) they are a producer of a raw agricultural commodity, including livestock, fish, and aquaculture products.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Producers of raw commodities who have been adversely affected by import competition and are covered by a certification of eligibility.

Credentials/Documentation

When applying, producers must provide documentation that they produced the commodity during the most recent marketing year. To be eligible for cash payments, producers must certify that their net income from farming, aquaculture or fishing has declined, from the pre-adjustment year, and that they have received their free technical assistance from the Extension Service. Even if eligible for benefits under multiple petitions, a producer may receive no more than $10,000 per year in TAA cash payments. Producers may receive no more than $65,000 in combined counter-cyclical and TAA payments.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

None.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

A group of producers or an association representing a group of producers must first file a petition with USDA's FAS to establish eligibility for assistance. Petitions may be filed by a group of three or more producers or an authorized representative. The TAA petition form may be found on the Internet at http://www.fas.usda.gov/taa/fas0930.pdf. A copy may also be obtained from a USDA Farm Service Agency county office, or requested by phone at (202) 720-2916 or by writing to USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service, Trade Adjustment Assistance, STOP 1021, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-1021. The TAA regulation defines articles like or directly competitive as products falling generally under the same number in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). Links to the HTS and a U.S. trade database are in the TAA Library. When preparing petitions, producers are encouraged to seek advice from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Office regarding how best to identify their commodity by HTS number. After a petition is certified, eligible producers who apply are eligible to receive trade adjustment technical assistance from the Extension Service at no cost. The Extension Service will provide information regarding the feasibility and desirability of substituting one or more alternative commodities and improve the competitiveness of the production and marketing of the adversely affected commodity. Furthermore, to qualify for a TAA cash payment, producers must complete Form FSA-229, meet with the county Extension Service, and submit all supporting documentation by September 30.

Award Procedures

FAS determined the eligibility of producers of raw commodities who have been adversely affected by import competition based on all information and supporting documentation provided. The Extension Service will make available to all producers who apply for TAA free technical assistance within 180 days of the petition certification date. The Extension Service will contact applicants with the times and dates of scheduled training sessions. Once an applicant has met all program requirements, they will receive a cash benefit based on the certified payment rate times the amount of commodity marketed in the approved marketing year. The Farm Service Agency will make a direct deposit payment to the eligible applicant's checking account. Then, FAS will compute the amount of cash payment for certified eligible producers. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) or National Payment Service (NPS) will make direct deposit payments to certified eligible producers checking accounts. The maximum cash benefit is up to $10,000 per year. Applicants may receive less, if total applications exceed TAA funding levels.

Deadlines

Use the link to access TAA Petition Registry in order to find out the filling date, approval date, and application period end date for each type of eligible commodity per impacted area http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/registry.htm. A certified eligible producer must apply for adjustment assistance within 90 days after the eligibility certification approval date. FSA county offices can help producers prepare and submit their applications. To qualify for a TAA cash payment, producers must complete Form FSA-229, meet with the county Extension Service, and submit all supporting documentation by September 30.

Authorization

Trade Act of 1974, as amended, Trade Act of 2002.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Petition filing to establish eligibility, on the average, will take 40 days from the date that the petition is accepted and published in the Federal Register. The Extension Service will make available to all producers who apply for TAA free technical assistance within 180 days of the petition certification date.

Appeals

Any person may obtain reconsideration and review of determinations made with respect to applications for program benefits by filing an appeal with the U.S. International Trade Court.

Renewals

TAA may be available in subsequent years if imports keep increasing and producer prices remain below the 80-percent threshold.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

An eligible applicant will receive a monetary cash benefit using this formula, the cash benefit will be equal to the certified payment rate times the amount of eligible commodity marketed in the approved marketing year. Payment limitation of $10,000 exists for applicants who have received prior TAA payments in the same fiscal year or have received $65,000 in counter cyclical payments. Monetary cash benefits may also be less than the computed amount if total TAA payments exceed available funds.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Payment is made by direct deposit after determining applicant eligibility.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

None.

Audits

At all times during regular business hours, authorized representatives of FSA, the United States Department of Agriculture, or the Comptroller General of the United States shall have access to the premises of the producer in order to inspect, examine, and make copies of the books, records, and accounts, and other written data as specified. Audits of certifications of average adjusted gross income may be conducted as necessary to determine compliance with established requirements. As a part of this audit, income tax forms may be requested and if requested, must be supplied. If a producer has submitted information to FSA, including a certification from a certified public accountant or attorney, that relied upon information from a form previously filed with the Internal Revenue Service, such producer shall provide FSA a copy of any amended form filed with the Internal Revenue Service with 30 days of the filing.

Records

Persons making application for benefits under this program must maintain accurate records and accounts that will document that they meet all eligibility requirements specified herein, as may be requested by FSA. Such records and accounts must be retained for 2 years after the date of the final payment to the producer under this program.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-4336-0-4-350.

Obigations

(Funds transferred from FAS to FSA for direct deposit payments) FY 07$90,000,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The maximum cash benefit is up to $10,000 per year. In some years, producers may receive less, if producer demands for TAA exceed funding levels.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Program is announced through news media and in letters to agricultural producers in the counties. Regulations published in the Federal Register, 7 CFR Part 1580.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Consult the local phone directory for location of the nearest county FSA office. If no listing, contact the appropriate State FSA office listed in the Farm Service Agency section of Appendix IV of the Catalog or on the WEB at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/edso/statedefault.htm.

Headquarters Office

Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Trade Adjustment Assistance, STOP 1021, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-1021, Telephone: (202) 720-2916.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

All producers of an eligible commodity identified by HTS number, which has recently suffered from low prices due to increasing imports, and who meet eligibility requirements may receive assistance. Applications are non-competitive.



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