Sending Office: Honorable Michael R. Turner
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DEADLINE:  COB, Tuesday, March 13th

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Thompson (PA), Smith (WA), Roskam (IL), Welch (VT), Johnson (GA), Scott (GA)


Dear Colleague:

We invite you to join us in sending a bipartisan letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting at least sustained, level funding in FY2019 for the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program (TAAF).

TAAF is a small but effective program that provides technical assistance to U.S. businesses negatively impacted by international trade agreements, thus assisting distressed companies in stabilizing their businesses, improving competitiveness, and remaining
employers in their communities.

During FY2016, TAAF provided assistance to over 950 firms.  As of September 30, 2016, there were 689 active companies with combined sales of $10.5 billion and a workforce of over 55,000 participating in the TAAF program.  In addition, firms surveyed two
years after completing the 2014 TAAF program reported that average sales increased by 9% and average employment increased by 11%, beating the U.S. manufacturing industry average.

Considering its modest funding, TAAF stands out as a model of efficiency, and the continuity of the program is a critical part of our efforts to expand and strengthen U.S. manufacturing.  Please join us in urging the Appropriations Committee to provide at
least sustained funding for TAAF and support U.S. manufacturing.  If you would like to add your name to this letter (text below), please email either Dan Hare at (Rep. Turner) or Russ Halliday at (Rep.



Michael R. Turner                                     James P. McGovern

Member of Congress                                Member of Congress

Dear Chairman Culberson and Ranking Member Serrano:

We are writing to express our support for Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) as you develop the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019) Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill and urge you to provide at least sustained, level funding for the program.

TAAF, managed by a network of eleven centers across the country, provides positive and measurable impact on distressed U.S. manufacturers.  A September 2012 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported to Congress that
participating import-impacted U.S. firms increased their sales by 5 or 6 percent on average.  Furthermore, the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) FY2015 Annual Report to Congress found that, one year after exiting TAAF, firms experienced an average
employment increase of 2.3 percent, an average sales increase of 20.8 percent, and an average productivity increase of 18.1 percent compared to the prior year.  According to the same report, 87 percent of firms exiting the TAAF program did so successfully. 
Importantly, EDA also noted that all of the firms that successfully completed the TAAF program in FY2013 were still in operation at the end of FY2015.  These findings confirm that although designed as comparatively small and nimble program, TAAF has
a significant and positive impact on U.S. firms. 

These successes, outpacing the benchmark for the manufacturing industry as a whole, are even more notable as these are firms that are attempting to adjust to import pressures.  The program’s success has thus enabled these firms to remain employers in their
communities, contributing to our economic recovery, expanding the U.S. tax base, and aiding our economic competitiveness, especially by strengthening our manufacturing base.  Moreover, GAO found that an impressive 73 percent of the firms reported the program
helped them with profitability, 71 percent said it helped them retain employees, and 57 percent reported that the program helped them hire new employees.  We believe it is also appropriate to judge the program by the fact that over 95 percent of the distressed
companies who participate in the program are still in business after five years, continuing to provide jobs, pay taxes, and contribute to the economic sustainability of their communities.

Under the program, regional centers operate through universities, private companies, or non-profit associations to target small- and medium-sized firms, specializing in business strategies specific to the needs of each firm.  Facing adjustments in many areas
to compete with lower-priced imports, firms have five years to implement proposals once they are approved by EDA.  Assisted firms also contribute a matching share to create and implement their recovery plans.  In FY2015, centers provided technical assistance
to 295 firms in preparing petitions, 128 firms in preparing adjustment proposals, and 729 firms in implementing projects within their adjustment proposals.  EDA certified 113 petitions and approved 120 proposals, effectively targeting distressed small- and
medium-sized firms, enabling them to obtain the technical assistance they need to remain viable.

As TAAF is the only program specifically designed to help small manufacturers that have been directly hurt by import competition, it is an important component of our national efforts to build and promote U.S. manufacturing.  It is a limited
and effective program that helps U.S. small businesses respond to foreign imports and make their production lines more efficient.  Moreover, the business demand for the program remains high, as demonstrated by the backlog of unfunded approved assistance. 
We urge you to maintain sustained, level funding for TAAF for the FY2019 appropriations cycle.  We look forward to working with you to improve our economy and strengthen our manufacturing base.

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Economy, Labor, Small Business, Trade

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