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Assistance provided by the Departments of Labor and Commerce to workers and firms that are adversely affected by increased imports. The Labor Department administers a program offering certified workers cash benefits for direct trade readjustment allowances and service benefits that include allocations for job search, relocation, and training. The Department of Commerce sponsors programs that provide technical services to certified firms designed to restore the economic viability of U.S. industries adversely affected by international import competition. This assistance is authorized by subchapter II of the Trade Act of 1974. The Act was amended most recently in 1993, when "transitional" assistance was approved for workers affected by increased imports from Canada or Mexico or by shifts of U.S. production to those countries as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Authority to extend trade adjustment assistance expires on June 30, 1999, but funds are appropriated to cover all of FY1999.

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