Broken Buffer: How Trade Adjustment Assistance Fails American Workers

Broken Buffer: How Trade Adjustment Assistance Fails American Workers

January 22, 2010
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The following report evaluates the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) — the primary U.S. policy response to the job dislocations caused by trade. It shows the ways in which TAA has failed to respond adequately to the challenges facing dislocated workers. It highlights the need for a more comprehensive set of policies to help workers and families navigate the economic restructuring that has become an inevitable part of increasing trade and globalization.

Some Facts & Figures:

  • Over the 20 year period, 1979 to 1999, about 6.4 million jobs were displaced in import competing manufacturing industries.
  • A majority (57 percent) of the TAA recipients have only graduated high school. Only 8 percent have a college degree.
  • During the period 2001–2007, under a million workers were officially certified as having lost their jobs due to trade.
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