13 C.F.R. Subpart A—General Provisions

Title 13 - Business Credit and Assistance

Title 13: Business Credit and Assistance

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Subpart A—General Provisions

§ 315.1   Purpose and scope.

The regulations in this part set forth the responsibilities of the Secretary of Commerce under Chapter 3 of Title II of the Trade Act concerning Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms. The statutory authority and responsibilities of the Secretary of Commerce relating to Adjustment Assistance are delegated to EDA. EDA certifies Firms as eligible to apply for Adjustment Assistance, provides technical Adjustment Assistance to Firms and other recipients, and provides assistance to organizations representing trade injured industries.

§ 315.2   Definitions.

In addition to the defined terms set forth in §300.3 of this chapter, the following terms used in this part shall have the following meanings:

Adjustment Assistance means technical assistance provided to Firms or industries under Chapter 3 of Title II of the Trade Act.

Adjustment Proposal means a Certified Firm's plan for improving its economic situation.

Certified Firm means a Firm which has been determined by EDA to be eligible to apply for Adjustment Assistance.

Confidential Business Information means any information submitted to EDA or TAACs by Firms that concerns or relates to trade secrets for commercial or financial purposes which is exempt from public disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4) and 15 CFR part 4.

Contributed Importantly, with respect to an Increase in Imports, refers to a cause which is important but not necessarily more important than any other cause. Imports will not be considered to have Contributed Importantly if other factors were so dominant, acting singly or in combination, that the worker separation or threat thereof or decline in sales or production would have been essentially the same, irrespective of the influence of imports.

Decreased Absolutely means a Firm's sales or production has declined by a minimum of five percent (5%) relative to its sales or production during the applicable prior time period, and:

(1) Irrespective of industry or market fluctuations; and

(2) Relative only to the previous performance of the Firm.

Directly Competitive means:

(1) Articles which are substantially equivalent for commercial purposes (i.e., are adapted to the same function or use and are essentially interchangeable); and

(2) Oil or natural gas (exploration, drilling or otherwise produced).

Firm means an individual proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, association, corporation (including a development corporation), business trust, cooperative, trustee in bankruptcy or receiver under court decree and including fishing, agricultural entities and those which explore, drill or otherwise produce oil or natural gas. When a Firm owns or controls other Firms as described in this definition, for purposes of receiving benefits under this part, the Firm and such other Firms may be considered a single Firm when they produce like or Directly Competitive articles or are exerting essential economic control over one or more production facilities. Such other Firms include:

(1) Predecessor—see the following definition for Successor;

(2) Successor—a newly established Firm (that has been in business less than two years) which has purchased substantially all of the assets of a previously operating company (or in some cases a whole distinct division) (such prior company, unit or division, a “Predecessor”) and is able to demonstrate that it continued the operations of the Predecessor which has operated as an autonomous unit, provided that there were no significant transactions between the Predecessor unit and any related parent, subsidiary, or affiliate that would have affected its past performance, and that separate records are available for the Predecessor's operations for at least two years before the petition is submitted. The Successor Firm must have continued virtually all of the Predecessor Firm's operations by producing the same type of products, in the same plant, utilizing most of the same machinery and equipment and most of its former workers, and the Predecessor Firm must no longer be in existence;

(3) Affiliate—a company (either foreign or domestic) controlled or substantially beneficially owned by substantially the same person or persons that own or control the Firm filing the petition; or

(4) Subsidiary—a company (either foreign or domestic) that is wholly owned or effectively controlled by another company.

Increase in Imports means an increase of imports of Directly Competitive or Like Articles with articles produced by such Firm that Contributed Importantly to the applicable Total or Partial Separation or threat thereof, and to the applicable decline in sales or production.

Like Articles means any articles which are substantially identical in their intrinsic characteristics.

Partial Separation means, with respect to any employment in a Firm, either:

(1) A reduction in an employee's work hours to eighty (80) percent or less of the employee's average weekly hours during the year of such reductions as compared to the preceding year; or

(2) A reduction in the employee's weekly wage to eighty (80) percent or less of his/her average weekly wage during the year of such reduction as compared to the preceding year.

Person means an individual, organization or group.

Record means any of the following:

(1) A petition for certification of eligibility to qualify for Adjustment Assistance;

(2) Any supporting information submitted by a petitioner;

(3) The report of an EDA investigation with respect to petition; and

(4) Any information developed during an investigation or in connection with any public hearing held on a petition.

Significant Number or Proportion of Workers means five (5) percent of a Firm's work force or fifty (50) workers, whichever is less. An individual farmer or fisherman is considered a Significant Number or Proportion of Workers.

Substantial Interest means a direct material economic interest in the certification or non-certification of the petitioner.

TAAC means a Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, as more fully described in §315.5.

Threat of Total or Partial Separation means, with respect to any group of workers, one or more events or circumstances clearly demonstrating that a Total or Partial Separation is imminent.

Total Separation means, with respect to any employment in a Firm, the laying off or termination of employment of an employee for lack of work.

§ 315.3   Confidential Business Information.

EDA will follow the procedures set forth in 15 CFR 4.7 for the submission of Confidential Business Information. Submitters should clearly mark and designate as confidential any Confidential Business Information.

§ 315.4   Eligible petitioners.

Eligible petitioners for assistance under this part shall be:

(a) Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers (“TAACs”). A TAAC can be a(n):

(1) University affiliate;

(2) State or local government affiliate; or

(3) Non-profit organization.

(b) Firms; or

(c) Organizations assisting or representing industries in which a substantial number of Firms or workers have been certified as eligible to apply for Adjustment Assistance under Sections 223 or 251 of the Trade Act, including:

(1) Existing agencies;

(2) Private individuals;

(3) Firms;

(4) Universities;

(5) Institutions;

(6) Associations;

(7) Unions; or

(8) Other non-profit industry organizations.

§ 315.5   TAAC scope, selection, evaluation and awards.

(a) TAAC purpose and scope. (1) TAACs are available to assist Firms in obtaining Adjustment Assistance in all fifty (50) U.S. states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. TAACs provide Adjustment Assistance in accordance with this part either through their own staffs or by arrangements with outside consultants. Information concerning TAACs serving particular areas may be obtained from the TAAC Web site at http://www.taacenters.org or from EDA. See the annual FFO for the appropriate points of contact and addresses.

(2) Prior to submitting a petition for Adjustment Assistance to EDA, a Firm should determine the extent to which a TAAC can provide the required Adjustment Assistance. EDA will provide Adjustment Assistance through TAACs whenever EDA determines that such assistance can be provided most effectively in this manner. Requests for Adjustment Assistance will normally be made through TAACs.

(3) TAACs generally provide Adjustment Assistance to a Firm by providing the following:

(i) Assistance to a Firm in preparing its petition for certification;

(ii) Assistance to a Certified Firm in diagnosing its strengths and weaknesses and developing its Adjustment Proposal; and

(iii) Assistance to a Certified Firm in the implementation of its Adjustment Proposal.

(b) TAAC selection. TAACs are selected in accordance with the following:

(1) EDA invites currently funded TAACs to submit either new or amended applications, provided they have performed in a satisfactory manner and complied with previous and/or current conditions in their Cooperative Agreements with EDA and contingent upon availability of funds. Such TAACs shall submit an application on a form approved by OMB, as well as a proposed budget, narrative scope of work, and such other information as requested by EDA. Acceptance of an application or amended application for a Cooperative Agreement does not assure funding by EDA; and

(2) EDA will invite new TAACs to submit proposals through an FFO, and if such proposals are acceptable, EDA will invite an application on a form approved by OMB. An application will contain a narrative scope of work, proposed budget and such other information as requested by EDA. Acceptance of an application does not assure funding by EDA.

(c) TAAC evaluation. (1) EDA generally evaluates currently funded TAACs based on:

(i) Performance under Cooperative Agreements with EDA and compliance with the terms and conditions of such Cooperative Agreements;

(ii) Proposed scope of work, budget and application or amended application; and

(iii) Availability of funds.

(2) EDA generally evaluates new TAACs based on:

(i) Competence in administering business assistance programs;

(ii) Background and experience of staff;

(iii) Proposed scope of work, budget and application; and

(iv) Availability of funding.

(d) TAAC award requirements. (1) EDA generally funds TAACs for twelve (12) months.

(2) There are no Matching Share requirements for Adjustment Assistance provided by the TAACs to Firms for certification or for administrative expenses of the TAACs.

§ 315.6   Firm selection, evaluation and assistance.

(a) Firm selection. Firms participate in the Trade Adjustment Assistance program in accordance with the following:

(1) Firms apply for certification through a TAAC by completing a petition for certification. The TAAC will assist Firms in completing such petitions (at no cost to the Firms);

(2) Firms certified in accordance with the procedures described in §§315.7 and 315.8 must prepare an Adjustment Proposal for Adjustment Assistance from the TAAC, and submit it to EDA for approval;

(3) Certified Firms that have submitted approvable Adjustment Proposals within the time limits described in §315.10 may begin implementation of their proposals. The Firm may submit a request to the TAAC for Adjustment Assistance in implementing an accepted Adjustment Proposal; and

(4) EDA determines whether the Adjustment Assistance requested in the Adjustment Proposal is eligible based upon the evaluation criteria set forth in subpart D of this part.

(b) Firm evaluation. For certification, EDA evaluates Firms' petitions strictly on the basis of fulfillment of the requirements set forth in §315.7.

(c) Firm award requirements. (1) Firms generally receive Adjustment Assistance over a two-year (2) period.

(2) Matching Share requirements are as follows:

(i) Each Firm must pay at least twenty-five (25) percent of the cost of the preparation of its Adjustment Proposal. Each Firm requesting $30,000 or less in total Adjustment Assistance in its approved Adjustment Proposal must pay at least twenty-five (25) percent of the cost of that Adjustment Assistance. Each Firm requesting more than $30,000 in total technical assistance in its approved Adjustment Proposal must pay at least fifty (50) percent of the cost of that Adjustment Assistance.

(ii) Organizations representing trade-injured industries must pay at least fifty (50) percent of the total cash cost of the Adjustment Assistance, in addition to appropriate in-kind contributions.

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