Summary: H.R.1543 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (10/30/1979)

(Reported to Senate from the Committee on Finance with amendment, S. Rept. 96-385)

=Title I: Improvements in Adjustment Assistance for Workers= - Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to require the Secretary of Labor to reconsider any denial of adjustment assistance for workers separated from employment up to 18 months before a petition for such assistance was granted. Authorizes the filing of such petitions by the Secretary on behalf of any group of workers, as well as by a group of workers or their representative.

Requires the Secretary to certify a group of workers as eligible to apply for adjustment assistance if: (1) sales or production at their place of employment decrease or threaten to decrease due to increased imports; or (2) increased imports like, or competitive with, articles produced by the workers' firm or subdivision thereof or to which such workers' firm provides essential parts or services contributed importantly to the actual or threatened decline in sales or production of such firm.

Directs the Secretary of Labor to provide information to the Secretary of Commerce regarding petitions for adjustment assistance filed by workers when the workers' firm has also filed for such assistance. Stipulates that no adjustment assistance shall be provided a worker until sales or production at the worker's firm have decreased absolutely.

Provides for trade readjustment allowances to be made to workers who: (1) had been employed or in an employer-employee relationship (including employer-authorized paid leave) at least 26 weeks in the year prior to separation; and (2) were part of a group certified as eligible for such assistance. Extends the time during which certain workers can continue to receive readjustment allowances.

Directs the Secretary to establish experimental training programs for workers displaced by import competition. Requires the Secretary to report with recommendations to Congress by March 1, 1982, concerning the effectiveness of such training programs. Authorizes appropriations for such programs through fiscal year 1981.

Increases the job search allowances and relocation allowances provided adversely affected workers. Stipulates that such allowances shall be reduced by any amounts paid by an employer for such purposes. Revises the conditions for such allowances.

Authorizes the Secretary to suspend, as well as terminate, certification of eligibility of workers for adjustment assistance if separations are no longer attributable to decreased sales or production caused by increased imports. Directs the Secretary to reinstate suspended certifications when separations are again attributable to such conditions or conditions warranting suspension no longer exist. Excludes the period of such suspension from the two year limitation on trade readjustment allowances.

Fixes the weekly amount of trade readjustment allowances at the amount initially computed, with specified conditions.

=Title II: Improvement in Adjustment Assistance to Firms= - Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to authorize the Secretary of Commerce to certify firms, whose sales or production decrease or threaten to decrease due to increased imports, as eligible for adjustment assistance. Authorizes the Secretary to certify as eligible for such assistance those firms where at least 25 percent of their sales go to an import-impacted firm and significant numbers of workers have been or may be separated due to a decrease or threatened decrease of sales or production of articles or services for such an import-impacted firm.

Requires the Secretary of Commerce to share information provided by firms petitioning for certification with the Secretary of Labor. Prohibits any assistance to firms until sales or production have decreased absolutely.

Requires the Secretary of Commerce to provide technical assistance to firms preparing proposals for adjustment assistance. Increases the proportion of the cost the Secretary will bear for technical assistance furnished to firms through private individuals, firms, or institutions. Authorizes the Secretary to contract to pay to, or on behalf of, a borrower an amount to reduce the interest such borrower must pay on financial assistance loans guaranteed pursuant to this Act. Revises the conditions for financial assistance to adversely affected firms. Includes within such revision a lowering of the rate of interest on direct loans. Specifies the procedure for determining such rates.

=Title III: General Provisions= - Establishes a Commerce-Labor Adjustment Action Committee to coordinate the economic adjustment responsibilities of the Departments of Commerce and Labor and other Federal agencies.

Authorizes the Secretary of Labor to make grants to unions and employee organizations concerning the design of an effective program of trade adjustment assistance for workers. Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to: (1) make grants for industry-wide programs designed to improve economic efficiency; and (2) study those industries threatened by import competition.