June 25,2015

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Keith Chu (202) 224-3789 

Wyden Applauds House Passage of Worker Aid Bill

Ranking Democrat Calls for Swift Passage of Trade Enforcement Legislation Next Month

WASHINGTON –Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., celebrated the House passage of a bill today that provides vital support for American workers and expands access to health insurance. The House of Representatives passed Wyden’s Trade Adjustment Assistance bill 286-138, following the passage of the legislation in the Senate on Wednesday by voice vote. The bill now goes to the president for his signature.

“America is stronger when our workers have the training and support they need to compete in the global economy. Trade Adjustment Assistance is crucial to supporting U.S. workers and I’m glad the House followed our lead and passed this bill.” Wyden said. “From the start I’ve said it is crucial to pass the entire trade package that Chairman Hatch, Chairman Ryan and I negotiated this spring. Now three of the four pieces of the trade package are on their way to the president, and I look forward to passing a critical customs and enforcement bill when the Senate gets back in session next month.”

The TAA bill provides $450 million each year to support training and assistance for workers impacted by globalization. It expands eligibility to service sector workers, as well as those impacted by nations like China, with which the United States doesn’t have a free trade agreement. It renews the Health Coverage Tax Credit, so workers who lose their jobs don’t lose their health insurance. 

At Wyden’s urging, the legislation includes critical enforcement legislation, the Level the Playing Field Act, originally introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and supported by U.S. manufacturers and labor groups. The provision strengthens U.S. trade remedies, like antidumping and countervailing duties, to combat unfair trade.

The bill also renews the African Growth and Opportunity Act for 10 years, to support trade with African nations, and encourage economic growth with developing countries. 

Congress is expected to go to conference next month on a trade enforcement package that has passed through both bodies.