Impacted by foreign trade? Trade Act Assistance helps laid off employees find work

Employee layoffs are not uncommon when a U.S. company offshores some of its production or is sold to an international firm that does similar work in a foreign country.Photo: shipping containers on barge

That’s when employers and employees can seek out career transition support for their laid-off employees through the Trade Act Assistance program (TAA). TAA is a federal program administered by the U.S Department of Labor that provides services and benefits to workers who lose their jobs due foreign trade.

Various industries – such as manufacturing – might typically be affected by a foreign trade issue due to the ebb and flow of product supply. If layoffs occur as a result, businesses should know these layoffs don’t need to be devastating for their employees.

The TAA program provides affected workers with opportunities to obtain skills, credentials and the resources necessary to become reemployed which includes:

  • Training cost assistance and support that helps workers find a job at a skill level similar to or higher than their trade-affected employment.
  • Income support for employees while they participate in training.
  • Job search assistance helps cover the costs of looking for work. This occurs when the employee is unable to find work outside their local labor market.
  • Relocation assistance to help cover the costs of moving out of an area when work is not available locally.
  • A wage subsidy for workers aged 50 or older and making $50,000 or less per year in a new job. It pays 50% of the difference between the worker’s new wage and the wages earned with their previous employer.

“Businesses or employees who plan to apply for the program should remember foreign trade needs to have contributed to the workers’ layoff or threat of layoff in order to qualify,” said Idaho Department of Labor TAA Coordinator Kathy Nesmith.

Ultimately, TAA provides workers the opportunities to obtain skills, credentials, job search resources and the support necessary to level up their skills and fill jobs in demand.

Learn more about the TAA program at

*Workers who were certified and separated from their job on or before June 30, 2022, may still be eligible for benefits and services. When in doubt – reach out. It is important for businesses to be aware and knowledgeable about the program, so they can be ready to support their employees when they need to.*

Lindsay Trombly, public information specialist
Idaho Department of Labor

*This article has been edited for clarity and additional information*


The Trade Adjustment Act is 100% funded by the U.S. Department of Labor as part of an Employment and Training Administration award totaling $4,881,337.