Trade Adjustment Assistance

Under the program, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides technical assistance and cash benefits to eligible farmers and fishermen if increased imports contributed importantly to a production or price decline of greater than 15 percent. Technical assistance under the program provides access to a wide variety of resources from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), their county Extension Service, and their education contractor, the University of Minnesota’s Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM), to assist producers in exploring alternative crops or improved marketing techniques for their current enterprise. The program's goal is to help producers respond proactively to import competition through training and cash benefits.

Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
10.609
Federal Agency
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Foreign Agricultural Service
Types of Assistance
DIRECT PAYMENTS WITH UNRESTRICTED USE
Uses and Use Restrictions
This program makes cash payments and provides technical assistance to eligible farmers, ranchers, and fishermen competing with like or directly competitive imported products.
Authorization
Trade Act of 1974, as amended, Trade Act of 2002, and reauthorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
Eligibility Requirements
Applicant Eligibility
The TAA review process is two-tier and consists of a petition application process and a producer application process. First, group petitions must demonstrate, using data for the most recent, full marketing year or full official marketing season, a greater than 15-percent decline in at least one of the following factors: national average price, quantity of production, value of production, or cash receipts. In addition, petitions must also demonstrate that the decline in one of the cited factors be importantly caused by an increase in imports. If a petition is certified, individual producers may apply at their local FSA field office. Producers must demonstrate they produced the agricultural commodity in the marketing year for which the petition is filed and in at least one of three preceding marketing years. Producers must also demonstrate that they experienced a decrease in the production or price of the agricultural commodity in the marketing year for which the petition is certified, compared to the most recent prior marketing year preceding that marketing year for which data is available, or demonstrate that USDA’s county price for the petitioned commodity on the petition filing date is less than USDA’s average county price for the past three consecutive marketing years.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Producers of raw commodities who have been adversely affected by import competition and are covered by a certification of eligibility.
Credentials/Documentation
When applying, producers must provide documentation that they produced the commodity during the most recent marketing year for which the petition is filed and in at least one of the three marketing years preceding that marketing year. To be eligible for cash payments, producers also must certify that they experienced a decrease in the quantity or price of the agricultural commodity in the marketing year for which the petition is certified, compared to the most recent prior marketing year preceding that marketing year for which data is available, or demonstrate that USDA’s county price for the petitioned commodity on the petition filing date is less than USDA’s average county price for the past three consecutive marketing years. If eligible, a producer may receive no more than $12,000 during the 36-month period following the certification of a group petition. Producers may receive no more than $65,000 in combined counter-cyclical and TAA payments. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
Application and Award Process
Preapplication Coordination
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. A group of producers or an association representing a group of producers must first file a petition with USDA's FAS to establish eligibility for assistance. Petitions may be filed by a group of three or more producers or an authorized representative. If a petition is certified, individual producers must file an application at their local FSA field office. Producers who are approved are eligible to receive, at no cost, trade adjustment technical assistance from the CFFM and cash benefits.

The TAA regulation defines articles like or directly competitive as products falling generally under the same number in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). Links to the HTS and a U.S. trade database can be found at http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/us-tariff-sch.asp.

The CFFM will provide information regarding the feasibility of substituting one or more alternative commodities and improve the competitiveness of the production and marketing of the adversely affected commodity.
Award Procedure
FAS determined the eligibility of producers of raw commodities who have been adversely affected by import competition based on all information and supporting documentation provided. The CFFM will make available to all producers who apply for TAA free technical assistance within 180 days of the petition certification date. The CFFM will contact applicants with the times and dates of scheduled training sessions or online classes. Once an applicant has met all program requirements, they will receive a cash benefit of up to $4,000 based upon the completion of an Initial Business Plan, and an additional $8,000 based upon the completion of a Final Business Plan. The Farm Service Agency will make a direct deposit payment to the eligible applicant's checking account. The maximum cash benefit is $12,000 over a 36-month period. Applicants may receive less if total applications exceed TAA funding levels.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
Petition filing to establish eligibility, on the average, will take 40 days from the date that the petition is accepted and published in the Federal Register. The CFFM will make available to all producers who apply for TAA free technical assistance within 180 days of the petition certification date.
Appeals
Any person may obtain reconsideration and review of determinations made with respect to applications for program benefits by filing an administrative appeal with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service within 30 days of FAS's denial and, if upheld, within 60 days to the U.S. Court of International Trade.
Renewals
Initially expected to expire on December 31, 2010, the TAA for Farmers Program was extended until February 12, 2011, through the Omnibus Trade Act on December 29, 2010. However, given the statutory requirement of a 90-day application period, the six-week life of the new appropriation precluded the announcement of a new program. The program officially expired on February 12, 2011, but funding and operations for it remain intact and allow all approved applicants to continue to receive payments and complete their training until September 2013.

On October 12, 2011, Congress passed the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011. The legislation reauthorized the TAA for Farmers Program through the first quarter of FY 2014. However, neither the House nor Senate bills provided appropriated funding for the program. As a result, no new petitions or applications have been accepted, to date.
Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: An eligible applicant will receive a monetary cash benefit of up to $4,000 based upon the completion of an Initial Business Plan and up to an additional $8,000 based upon the completion of a Long-Term Business Plan. Payment limitations exist for applicants who have received $65,000 in counter cyclical payments. Monetary cash benefits may be less than $12,000 if total TAA payments exceed available funds.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Payment is made by direct deposit after determining applicant eligibility, unless otherwise arranged. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Two separate cash payments are provided to applicants who complete the training requirements.
Post Assistance Requirements
Reports
Not later than January 30, 2010, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of Agriculture shall submit to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives a report containing the following information with respect to adjustment assistance provided under this chapter during the preceding fiscal year:(1) A list of the agricultural commodities covered by a certification.(2) The States or regions in which such commodities are produced and the aggregate amount of such commodities produced in each such State or region. (3) The total number of agricultural commodity producers, by congressional district, receiving benefits.
(4) The total number of agricultural commodity producers, by congressional district, receiving technical assistance. Cash reports are not applicable. Progress reports are not applicable. Expenditure reports are not applicable. Performance monitoring is not applicable.
Audits
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. At all times during regular business hours, authorized representatives of FSA, the United States Department of Agriculture, or the Comptroller General of the United States shall have access to the premises of the producer in order to inspect, examine, and make copies of the books, records, and accounts, and other written data as specified. Audits of certifications of average adjusted gross income may be conducted as necessary to determine compliance with established requirements. As a part of this audit, income tax forms may be requested and if requested, must be supplied. If a producer has submitted information to FSA, including a certification from a certified public accountant or attorney, that relied upon information from a form previously filed with the Internal Revenue Service, such producer shall provide FSA a copy of any amended form filed with the Internal Revenue Service with 30 days of the filing.
Records
Persons making application for benefits under this program must maintain accurate records and accounts that will document that they meet all eligibility requirements specified herein, as may be requested by FSA. Such records and accounts must be retained for 2 years after the date of the final payment to the producer under this program.
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-4336-0-4-350.
Obligations
(Salaries) FY 12 $0; FY 13 est $0; and FY 14 Estimate Not Available - Program authorized, but not funded.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The maximum cash benefit is up to $12,000 per year. In some years, producers may receive less if producer demands for TAA exceed funding levels.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Program is announced through news media and in letters to agricultural producers in the counties. Regulations published in the Federal Register, 7 CFR Part 1580.
Information Contacts
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Consult the local phone directory for location of the nearest county FSA office. If no listing, contact the appropriate State FSA office listed in the Farm Service Agency section of Appendix IV of the Catalog or on the WEB at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.
Headquarters Office
John Rice 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Rm. 6539C, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Email: John.Rice@fas.usda.gov Phone: 2026900633
Website Address
http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taa.asp
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
Any producer of an eligible commodity identified by HTS number who has recently suffered from a decrease in production or price due to increasing imports and who meet all eligibility requirements may receive assistance. Applications are non-competitive.
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