WASHINGTON, DC— This afternoon, the Senate passed a bipartisan reauthorization of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which was based upon legislation that Senator Collins co-authored with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). A strong and consistent advocate for TAA, Senator Collins voted in favor of this legislation which would reauthorize critical job training and worker assistance programs to Americans who have been adversely affected by foreign competition. This bill must now be considered and passed by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the President. According to the Department of Labor, in the 2013 fiscal year alone, more than 700 Mainers used TAA programs. In addition, more than 70% of those participants found employment within 3 months of completing their retraining programs. Of the participants who found employment, more than 90 percent were still employed in their new jobs 6 months later.
"TAA plays an essential role in helping hardworking Americans who, through no fault of their own, lose their jobs as a result of what is often unfair foreign competition. TAA Programs enable displaced workers to acquire the new skills and the new training necessary to prepare for jobs in other industries," Senator Collins stated. "I am pleased that the Senate passed bipartisan legislation this afternoon that would reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Programs that have proven successful in retraining and reemploying American workers."
In March of 2015, Senator Collins' bipartisan amendment to the Senate Budget resolution in support of TAA was approved by the Senate. This amendment signaled the Senate's support for this important program and helped to lay the groundwork for today's vote. In April of 2015, Senator Collins introduced The Trade Adjustment Assistance Enhancement Act of 2015, along with Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) which authorizes Trade Adjustment Assistance through June 30, 2021. In May of 2015, Senator Collins spoke from the Senate floor to highlight Mainers who have benefitted from the success of TAA.