CITBA and Trade Adjustment Assistance

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal program that provides financial and other assistance to U.S. workers, farmers, and fishermen who have lost their jobs as a result of the U.S. policy of reducing barriers to trade. The program reflects a broad policy consensus that the United States, as it pursues trade policies that benefit the U.S. economy as a whole, must maintain a strong commitment to helping address the special adjustment problems of individuals adversely affected by increased competition from abroad.

If claimants are denied eligibility for TAA benefits, the claimants are entitled to challenge the denial in the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CITBA members regularly represent TAA claimants in these lawsuits. This representation is nearly always undertaken without charge, as part of a lawyer’s professional obligation to offer pro bono legal services to those unable to afford a lawyer. CITBA has also sponsored continuing legal education programs on TAA.

CITBA has prepared a Primer on Trade Adjustment Assistance Cases to assist attorneys who volunteered to represent claimants under the TAA Act in the CIT. This Primer is current as of the TAA Extension Act of 2011.

This Primer provides an overview of the TAA, reviews the filing procedures for petitioners, and discusses some of the recent cases that have reached the CIT. The cases involve the following issues: inadequate investigations, the definition of an article, like or directly competitive products, causation, statute of limitations, and attorneys fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act. This Primer deals only with petitions filed with Labor for the TAA for Workers program, according to the Trade Act of 2002, the Globalization Adjustment Assistance Act of 2009, and Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011. This document is meant for discussion/basic introduction purposes only and should not be cited. It is part of an ongoing project by CITBA and its Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) to improve the handling of TAA cases by attorneys, the government and the courts. The primer can be found here.