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With CAFTA and Yuan Revaluation, U.S. Must Help American Small Businesses.

Little-Known Government Program Provides Level Playing Field to U.S. Manufacturers

BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, a little-known government program said that legislative officials must pay attention to the affect that the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the Chinese yuan revaluation will have on small U.S. manufacturers.

"Entrepreneurs and small businesses -- the heart of America -- are increasingly finding themselves unable to compete with foreign imports when our global trade barriers break down," said Edvard Hag, Director of the Rocky Mountain Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (RMTAAC). "When the U.S. government changes the playing field by entering into free trade agreements and allowing China to become a member of the WTO, it is responsible for assisting the Americans that are temporarily impacted."

As the White House continues to stress the importance of opening trade, it is simultaneously threatening programs such as the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAA for Firms) program that will help businesses adjust. A unique trade remedy that provides small U.S. manufacturers with consulting expertise, discipline and grant funding to help them save jobs, survive and thrive in a global economy, TAA for Firms is at risk of losing funding from Congress this fall.

"It's a rapidly changing world and U.S. manufacturers are struggling and workers are losing jobs," said Hag. "In order to help our country remain competitive in this changing global economy, government officials must continue to recognize the value of and give appropriate funding to the federal trade adjustment bill. U.S. manufacturers can compete with anyone in the world, given a level playing field."

Commonly confused with TAA for Workers, a program funded by the Department of Labor that focuses solely on displaced workers, TAA for Firms is the only program that helps small U.S. manufacturing companies adjust their business models to survive and thrive in the country's changing economic environment, thereby retaining jobs and small businesses.

"Our country must learn how to compete in this changing global economy -- but it isn't just limited to our workforce. U.S. small businesses and manufacturers need ammunition too," said Hag. "CAFTA and the change in China's currency policy are welcome improvements for the long run, but in the short run we must help Americans adjust to these changes. Unless the U.S. government steps in and does more, many U.S. manufacturers will be wiped out."

Administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce, TAA for Firms is the only proven turn-around specialist that delivers the most reliable trade remedy to small U.S. manufacturers, producing dramatic and measurable increases in sales and job growth during times of global change. To date, TAA for Firms has helped to retain or create over 48,039 jobs throughout America and increased sales at participating companies by over $900 million on a minimal budget. The program is regionally managed by a network of 11 not-for-profit organizations across the country, including RMTAAC.

For more information, please call Holly Sprague at 303-786-7000 or visit http://www.taacenters.org/.

CONTACT: Holly Sprague of Metzger Associates, +1-303-786-7000, ext. 2110, holly@metzger.com, for RMTAAC

Web site: http://www.taacenters.org/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 2, 2005
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