U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and 13 other senators sent a letter on Feb. 3 to House leadership urging an extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program, a program for workers who lose their jobs due to foreign trade.
TAA, of which reauthorization must originate in the House of Representatives, is a package of training and reemployment services designed to help workers, who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade, develop the skills they need to find new jobs.
"In the last several years, hundreds of thousands of Americans, including thousands of Ohioans, have benefited from Trade Adjustment Assistance. It is truly a lifeline for trade-affected workers, helping these individuals get back on their feet and get the skills they need to land new, good-paying jobs," Brown said. "It's irresponsible to pass trade agreements that close factories and send jobs overseas, and then turn our backs on the workers and communities these agreements affect."
The letter, which was sent to House Speaker John Boehner, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin, urges leadership to quickly introduce and pass a long-term extension of TAA before it expires on February 12.
"Over 360,000 Americans have been certified for TAA assistance over the past two years, and over 40% of them were certified because of the improvements to TAA that were enacted in 2009it is critical that we preserve all these improvements to TAA," the letter said.
In addition to Sen. Brown, signatories to the letter include Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Bob Casey (D-PA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), John Kerry (D-MA), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Carl Levin (D-MI).