April 02,2010

Grassley: Labor Rule on Trade Adjustment Assistance Will Increase States' Costs


To:       Reporters and Editors

Re:       Department of Labor rule on Trade Adjustment Assistance

Da:       Friday, April 2, 2010

Today, the Department of Labor published a final rule in the Federal Register to require that personnel engaged in the provision of services under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program must be state employees covered by a merit system of personnel administration.  Senator Chuck Grassley, co-author of the Trade and Globalization Adjustment Assistance Act of 2009 and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, offered the following comment in response to today’s action:

“The decision by the Department of Labor to impose this merit staffing requirement will result in unnecessary costs to the states.  It’s going to force more than half of the states to change the way they deliver trade adjustment assistance, even though the states themselves say their systems are working well.  It’s going to create inefficiencies and waste taxpayer dollars.  It also could cause difficulties when the trade adjustment assistance program comes up for reauthorization at the end of this year because it defies the bipartisan compromise to leave the status quo unchanged in the authorizing legislation that was signed into law last year.  States were left to choose for themselves how to provide for the administration of TAA services.”