(Extensions of Remarks - December 09, 2003)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E2504-E2505]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. AMO HOUGHTON

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                        Monday, December 8, 2003

  Mr. HOUGHTON. Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing a bill to add Trade 
Adjustment Assistance Recipients as a targeted group for the Work 
Opportunity Tax Credit, thereby permitting employers to receive a tax 
credit when hiring these individuals. Most importantly, this bill would 
help address the loss of our manufacturing and other jobs to foreign 
competitors. The bill I'm introducing is a companion to a bill offered 
in the Senate by my good friend, Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine.

[[Page E2505]]

  The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program provides a credit of 
up to $2,400 based on wages paid in the first year to a new employee 
for employers that hire workers from one of the targeted groups 
(welfare recipients, ex-felons, high-risk youths, qualified food stamp 
recipients, etc.). The WOTC program has been a major factor in moving 
the unemployed from the welfare rolls into the workforce, serving as a 
vital component of the welfare reform legislation.
  The proposal in the bill is a very targeted approach. A Trade 
Adjustment Assistance (TAA) recipient is an individual who is 
unemployed and has been certified to receive benefits under the TAA 
program. TAA benefits include extended unemployment compensation and 
worker training.
  The latter program provides benefits to individuals who have been 
laid off by an employer who has been disadvantaged by foreign imports 
or has shifted production, and jobs, to a country that has a free trade 
agreement with the United States or is a beneficiary country under 
certain other trade agreements. Thus, the proposal deals directly with 
the loss of jobs to countries abroad.
  The TAA targeted group would be somewhat different than the other 
groups. The TAA group has been disadvantaged by foreign trade and 
competition. Even though the individuals may be skilled, they are 
unlikely to find jobs in their former industries because the jobs have 
moved offshore. Accordingly, the TAA recipient may need retraining. 
Qualifying as a WOTC/TAA recipient would help the person obtain a job, 
and the credit would contribute to the retraining costs incurred by the 
new employer. The TAA recipient hired by an employer would no longer 
receive TAA benefits, thus reducing the cost of that program.
  The proposal is not the complete answer to unemployment. 
Nevertheless, I believe it is a step in the right direction, because it 
targets those workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade and 
competition. I encourage my colleagues to cosponsor this proposed