Trade Act Assistance

Trade Adjustment Assistance Program

The Trade Act of 1974, as amended, is a Federal program establishing the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program which provides reemployment assistance to workers in firms hurt by foreign trade (e.g. production has been/is being shifted to a foreign country, services are being outsourced to a foreign country, increased imports of articles or services, loss of business with a TAA-certified firm).  Program benefits may include job search allowances, relocation allowances, wage subsidy benefits for workers age 50 and older, training services and/or Trade Readjustment Allowances  (TRA).

The Petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance form explains who can file a petition and when it can be filed. TAA petition forms also may be obtained from any local IowaWORKS Center, the State TAA Office, or the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance.

Completed petitions may be sent to:
Iowa Trade Act Coordinator
Fax: 515-281-9641

When the petition is received, the Trade Act Coordinator will review it and submit it to the appropriate division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Upon receipt, DOL conducts a fact-finding investigation to determine whether the group eligibility criteria have been met. After the petition is filed, DOL will determine whether a significant number or a proportion of the company workers have become totally or partially separated or are threatened to become totally or partially separated. DOL will also determine other contributing factors including the influence of imports, shift in production or services to a foreign country, and whether there was a decline in sales or production of articles.

Within approximately 40 days of the State TAA Office’s submission of the petition, DOL will conclude the investigation and issue a final determination based on the TAA worker group eligibility requirements. If a final determination is not reached within 40 days, the delay is typically due to difficulties obtaining the required information from the affected company. DOL will notify the petitioners and the State TAA Office when the final decision is reached.

The petition for Trade Act certification is denied if DOL determines that a TAA petition does not meet the worker group eligibility requirements under the Trade Act program.

When DOL certifies, or approves, a petition, the Trade Act Coordinator will contact the petitioners and company to set up worker information meetings.  During these meetings affected workers will receive assistance in completing their initial eligibility applications and are informed of the reemployment services available at IowaWORKS/American Job Centers.

More detailed information regarding TAA services is available on the DOL website.  

Please Note: There is no cost to the company (i.e. taxes, fees, etc.) at any part of this process when filing a petition, nor in the event of a certified  petition.

Trade Readjustment Allowances

Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) is an unemployment insurance benefit available to workers participating in full-time classroom training that is approved through the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. The TRA benefits available to workers vary depending on the certified petition number assigned by the U.S. Department of Labor. Please see the Department of Labor website for more information about TRA benefits. Applications for TAA/TRA benefits are available at your local IowaWORKS Center.

To be eligible to receive TRA benefits you must:

  • Have been entitled to receive regular unemployment insurance benefits which are exhausted or expired
  • Be enrolled in full-time, TAA-approved classroom training by the deadline requirement or be approved for a waiver from classroom training (the deadline requirements vary by petition number)
  • Continue to certify weekly claims for unemployment insurance benefits
  • Submit a Department Approved Training (DAT) request through the local IowaWORKS Center for each term of approved classes.

Waiver from Trade Adjustment Assistance Classroom Training

A waiver from training may be granted if the enrollment in classroom training deadline cannot be met for an appropriate reason. This preserves eligibility for Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) unemployment benefits until the enrollment in classroom training requirement can be met. A waiver from classroom training preserves TRA eligibility and allows the receipt of TRA Basic benefits until the waiver expires.  A waiver ceases to preserve TRA eligibility if TRA Basic exhausts or expires. Applications for a waiver from classroom training are available at your local IowaWORKS Center.

Trade Act Program: Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers
http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/

Trade Adjustment Assistance Program Side-by-Side Comparison
http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/pdf/side-by-side.pdf

Petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance
http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/downloadpetitions.cfm

Contact Information

Iowa Workforce Services
State Trade Act Coordinator
1000 E Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
Email: tradeprogram@iwd.iowa.gov