Not Content With Obstructing Trade Assistance, GOP Congressman Now Trying To Repeal It Altogether

This past February, House Republicans allowed an expansion of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program to expire. TAA is designed to help workers who lost their jobs due to trade agreements. Since then, the House GOP has been demanding that President Obama submit three new trade agreements for passage before a vote is held on TAA renewal.

But last week, Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) went one step further, introducing H.R.2165, which would abolish the TAA program entirely:

“It is near impossible to determine whether someone lost their job due to free trade,” Ross has said. “A government handout, borrowed from China, as a bone to Big Labor, won’t create a single job and is a needless distraction.” He also said trade assistance is “a federal wealth-redistribution program that has no business existing in a free society.”

Nearly 300,000 workers were aided by trade assistance in 2009. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement alone would cost 159,000 American jobs.