Don’t Link Ineffective, Wasteful TAA Program to Free Trade Agreements

David B. Muhlhausen /

Congress is currently waiting for the Obama Administration to send it three pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama. While these FTAs would boost economic activity and strengthen ties between participating nations, the Administration and many in Congress want passage of the FTAs to be linked to the reauthorization of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.

This ineffective and costly program provides job training, relocation allowances, and unemployment pay for workers who lost their jobs due to foreign trade while they attempt to shift into new occupations. Congress should not link the passage of FTAs to renewal of TAA. (more…)