Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms

To provide trade adjustment assistance to firms and industries adversely affected by an increase in imports of directly competitive or similar articles to those with articles produced by the firm, and to help implement the firms' strategies to guide their economic recovery.

Examples of Funded Projects

There are 11 Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers (TAACs) funded by EDA, which cover the 50 States, and the District of Columbia.

The TAACs, through cooperative agreements with EDA, help firms become certified in order to receive TAA.

Common types of technical assistance that firms may receive under the TAA program include market research, quality assurance completion (ISO-9000 designation, for example) and management information systems guidance.

Industries have been aided in developing new manufacturing machines and procedures, technological innovations, expanding exporting opportunities, marketing studies, and product diversification.


Agency - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce fosters and promotes the nation's economic development and technological advancement through vigilance in international trade policy, domestic business policy and growth, and promoting economic progress at all levels.



Program Accomplishments

In FY 2007, EDA, through the TAACs, provided assistance to petitioning firms as follows: 135 petitions were certified as eligible to receive trade adjustment assistance; 126 adjustment proposals were accepted.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Under Chapter 3 of Title II of the Trade Act of 1974, a firm may apply to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the Department of Commerce for certification of eligibility to apply for trade adjustment assistance (TAA).

Interested firms that believe they meet the requirements set forth in 13 CFR part 315 may contact EDA or one of the EDA-funded Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers (TAACs).

TAACs will assist firms, at no cost, in completing and submitting a petition (Form ED-840P or any successor form) to EDA.

Before a firm receives technical assistance under the program, the firm must have an adjustment proposal approved by EDA.

Usually the adjustment proposal, which includes an unbiased diagnostic of the firm's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, is prepared by the TAAC in cooperation with the certified firm.

The adjustment proposal also identifies technical assistance tasks, which when implemented, will guide the firm toward economic recovery.

The adjustment proposal must also demonstrate that the implementation of the technical assistance tasks has a reasonable chance helping the firm recover.

The firm must pay at least 25 percent of the cost of preparing the adjustment proposal.

After a firm's adjustment proposal is accepted by EDA, the firm is authorized to apply for technical assistance to implement the recovery strategy.

The technical assistance is usually provided by a private consultant, who is jointly hired by the certified firm and the TAAC.

The certified firm and the TAAC each typically pay one half of the consultant's fees.

Actual provision of TAA will depend on the feasibility of the firm's adjustment proposal, compliance with the requirements of the Trade Act, EDA's regulations and guidelines, and the availability of funds.

Organizations representing trade-injured industries are eligible under the Trade Act to apply to EDA for industry-wide assistance.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Section 253 of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C.

2343(b)) provides that grants may be awarded to "intermediary organizations (including Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers)" to provide assistance to trade-injured firms.

For an industry association or other organizations to be eligible for industry assistance under section 265 of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C.

2355(a)), the applicant must submit evidence demonstrating that the industry faces import competition and includes a substantial number of Trade Act-certified firms or worker groups.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Only manufacturing and producing firms certified by EDA on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce are eligible for assistance under the TAA program. Industries that can demonstrate they have been injured by imports and have a substantial number of Trade Act certified firm or worker groups may also benefit. The principal benefit is cost-shared technical assistance: the TAA program pays up to one-half of the cost of assistance by private-sector consultants and contractors for operational improvements at certified firms.

Credentials/Documentation

The TAACs act as intermediaries for this program between EDA and the firm. Entities seeking industry-wide assistance must contact EDA staff to discuss their needs, describe the import injury and determine if funding is available for industry-wide projects.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Not applicable.

This program is excluded from coverage under Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs".

Application Procedures

The nationwide network of 11 TAACs apply to EDA each year for funding for the coming fiscal year. Industry associations or other organizations seeking industry assistance must submit an application (SF-424) if invited to do so by EDA.

Award Procedures

Awards to TAACs are made based upon submitted applications, previous performance under cooperative agreements with EDA, and the availability of funds. Acceptance of an application or amended application for a cooperative agreement does not ensure funding by EDA. Awards to industries are made based on conformance with program requirements and availability of funds.

Deadlines

There are no deadlines, as long as the application allows enough time for processing to receive fiscal year funds.

Authorization

Chapters 3 and 5, Title II of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Trade Act), 19 U.S.C. 2341 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

EDA makes a determination on a firm's certification for eligibility to apply for TAA within 60 days of receipt of its petition. Decisions on adjustment proposals are typically made within two to three weeks of receipt by EDA. Decisions on TAAC applications or industry-wide assistance requests are normally made within two months of receipt of a fully complete application by EDA.

Appeals

There is no appeal procedure for proponents or recipients. A petitioning firm whose petition for certification was denied may appeal pursuant to 13 CFR 315.11.

Renewals

EDA's cooperative agreements with each of the 11 TAACs are usually renewed; industry grants generally are not renewed.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Matching share requirements are as follows: Each certified firm must pay at least twenty-five (25) percent of the cost of the preparation of its adjustment proposal. Each firm requesting $30,000 or less in total adjustment assistance in its approved adjustment proposal must pay at least twenty-five (25) percent of the cost of that adjustment assistance. Each firm requesting more than $30,000 in total technical assistance in its approved adjustment proposal must pay at least fifty (50) percent of the cost of that adjustment assistance. Organizations representing trade-injured industries must pay at least fifty (50) percent of the total cash cost of the adjustment assistance, in addition to appropriate in-kind contributions. There are no matching share requirements for TAA provided by the TAACs to firms for certification or for administrative expenses of the TAACs.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Generally one year for TAAC investments and the amount of time needed to complete the project for industry grants. The TAA program is a nationwide federal program designed to help U.S. firms that have experienced business decline and loss of employment due to imports of like or directly competitive products.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Periodic reporting of operating results and progress, financial statements, and summary of funds spent.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, recipients that are States, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education are subject to the audit requirements contained in the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501 et seq.). Commercial organizations shall be subject to the audit requirements as stipulated in the award documents. States, local governments, and nonprofit organizations that expend $500,000 or more in a year in federal awards shall have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year.

Records

Records are required to be maintained for three years. All financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical reports, and other records of recipients or sub-recipients are required to be maintained by the terms of the agreement. The recipient must retain records for three years after submission of the final financial report, and have them readily available for inspection and audit.

Financial Information

Account Identification

13-2050-0-1-452.

Obigations

(Cooperative Agreements) FY 07 $12,912,953; FY 08 $14,100,000; and FY 09 est $14,100,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

TAAC investments in FY 2007 ranged from $930,939 to $1,642,629. The average grant was $1,173,905.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Copies of pertinent regulations (13 CFR Part 315), guidelines, and forms are available from EDA, the TAACs or the TAAC website at www.taacenters.org. Allowable costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular A-87 for State, local, and Indian Tribal governments; OMB Circular A-122 for nonprofit organizations; OMB Circular A-21 for educational institutions; and 48 CFR Part 31 for commercial organizations. Uniform administrative requirements will be in accordance with 15 CFR Part 14 for institutions of higher education and other non-profit and commercial organizations, and with 15 CFR Part 24 for State and local governments.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: (202) 482-4495.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

EDA invites existing (currently funded) TAACs to submit either new or amended applications provided they have performed successfully and complied with previous conditions in their cooperative agreements with EDA and contingent upon the availability of funds. EDA also may invite new TAACs to submit applications through an applicable Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement. EDA generally evaluates existing (currently funded) TAACs based on: (i) performance under cooperative agreements with EDA and compliance with terms and conditions if such cooperative agreements; (ii) proposed scope of work, budget and application or amended application; and (iii) availability of funds.



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