Highlight: EDA’s Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) Program Key to Helping Import-Impacted Businesses Regain Their Competitiveness
March 2017 Newsletter
If you think your business has been hurt by increasing imports, we encourage you to contact the EDA-funded Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC) that serves your state to explore applying for TAAF assistance. There is no charge for technical assistance in applying for the program. Visit the TAAF/TAAC Contact Page to find the TAAC that serves your state.
Through a nationwide network of 11 EDA-funded TAACs, EDA’s TAAF program provides critical technical assistance to import-impacted manufacturers to help them strengthen their global competitiveness.
Following a process to certify that your firm is eligible for assistance in the program based on declining sales and employment resulting from increasing imports, firms work directly with the professionals at our TAACs to create and implement targeted business recovery plans called Adjustment Proposals (APs). This assistance is provided through matching funds provided to TAACs, which match the costs for third-party consultants to help firms expand markets, strengthen operations and increase competitiveness. Firms contribute a matching share to create and implement their respective recovery plan. No funds are provided directly to firms.
The program boasts many impressive successes:
In upstate New York, for example, a privately held woman-owned and operated furniture manufacturer that had been significantly impacted by imports was certified through the TAAF program and received technical assistance to help them improve their facilities and production efficiencies. Prior to growing import competition, the firm had 29 employees who produced annual sales of $2.2 million. At certification, the competition from imports had caused a decline in annual sales to $1.9 million and employment had shrunk to 23. After implementing their TAAF-supported strategy, annual sales have increased by nearly 50 percent to $2.9 million, and employment has increased to 34.
In order to assess the effectiveness of the TAAF program, EDA evaluates the extent to which client firms increased their sales, productivity, and employment levels following the implementation of TAAF-supported projects. EDA’s 2015 TAAF Annual Report notes that two years after completing the program, firms reported average sales had increased by 13.6 percent, average productivity increased by 9.7 percent, and average employment increased by 3.5 percent from 2013.
TAAF is a proven, easy-to-use program managed by business professionals who understand manufacturing. Importantly, EDA’s partnership with the TAACs allows firms to receive customized assistance from industry experts knowledgeable about the unique needs, challenges and opportunities facing industries in their respective regions.
We encourage you to get in touch with your local TAAC if you feel your business is being impacted negatively by imports!