Skip to content
  ETA Home   Trade Act Programs>    


"...This cannot be and will not be a subsidy program of government paternalism. It is instead a program to afford time for American initiative, American adaptability
and American resiliency to assert themselves... trade adjustment assistance... is designed to strengthen the efficiency of our economy, not to protect inefficiencies."
- President John F. Kennedy

What is Trade Adjustment Assistance?

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program is a federal program that provides a path for employment growth and opportunity through aid to US workers who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade. The TAA program seeks to provide these trade-affected workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, resources, and support they need to become reemployed. The program benefits and services that are available to individual workers are administered by the states through agreements between the Secretary of Labor and each state Governor. Program eligibility, technical assistance, and oversight are provided by the US Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration's Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance.
2010 TAA Fast Facts

2,718 TAA petitions were certified

280,873 estimated additional US workers were covered by certifications

$975,320,800 in federal funds allocated to states for benefits and services delivered to assist trade-impacted US workers

227,882 US workers accessed TAA-funded benefits and services

How It Works

A petition must be filed with the US Department of Labor by or on behalf of a group of workers who have lost or may lose their jobs or experienced a reduction in wages as a result of foreign trade. After the Department of Labor investigates the facts behind the petition, it applies statutory criteria to determine whether foreign trade was an important cause of the threatened or actual job loss or wage reduction. If the Department grants the petition to certify the worker group, individual workers in the group may apply to their State Workforce Agency for TAA benefits and services.

What We Offer

TAA offers a variety of benefits and services, that vary depending on TA-W number, to support workers in their search for reemployment. This includes job training, job search and relocation allowances, income support, and assistance with healthcare premium costs. These services are administered by cooperating state agencies using federal funds.
"Those who receive TAA have lost jobs through no fault of their own and many are actively pursuing training for new careers. In other words, these are experienced workers, firmly committed to putting in the effort to get back on their feet. As a group, they have strong work records, and they are a tremendous asset to our economy."
  - Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis

Who We Serve

TAA participants come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, and therefore many enter the program with a wide array of skills and experience. However, the majority of TAA participants who enter the program face similar challenges in obtaining reemployment, which can include no post-secondary degree, job skills solely in the manufacturing sector, and an average age of 46 with over 12 years of experience in a specific job that may no longer exist. The TAA program has been developed through legislation, regulation, and administrative guidance to best serve the needs of this unique population.