Rep. Kind Acts to Expand Trade Adjustment Assistance
Ways & Means Committee Develops Package to Increase Training Opportunities, Health Care Benefits for Workers Affected by Trade
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) today joined a bipartisan majority in the House to approve H.R. 3920, the Trade and Globalization Assistance Act of 2007, legislation developed by the House Committee on Ways and Means, on which Kind serves. This legislation would overhaul the current Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program to better meet the needs of American workers and communities affected by globalization.
“International trade is an essential part of the American economy today and in the future,” Rep. Kind said. “Reducing trade barriers in recent years has led to increased trade volume – $3.6 trillion last year alone – benefiting American workers, businesses, and consumers. But knowing that these benefits do not accrue evenly across all industries, the TAA program is important to help smooth the transition for workers who have to make the shift to a more competitive field.”
The Trade and Globalization Assistance Act of 2007 would expand TAA coverage to more workers, including service workers, and substantially improve the program’s training opportunities and health care benefits. The legislation also makes long-overdue reforms to the unemployment insurance system, recognizing that all unemployed workers deserve our support in getting back on their feet.
The bill also takes the TAA program beyond the effects on individual workers by offering new tax incentives for investment in distressed communities that have lost manufacturing jobs. The whole notion of worker assistance is meaningless without creating new jobs for displaced employees. Targeting investment into communities with an available workforce would benefit employers and employees alike and maintain vibrant towns and cities across this nation.
“I am pleased this bill passed with strong bipartisan backing, and am hoping the pending trade deals will enjoy the same support in the coming weeks and months,” Rep. Kind said. “By giving our businesses the freedom they need to sell American goods and services abroad, we are ensuring that the American economy will stay strong and competitive in the future, and that there will always be a place for American workers.”