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USDA INVITES PUBLIC COMMENT ON PETITIONS FOR RECERTIFICATION UNDER THE TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2004 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) today announced that the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers (TAA) program has begun evaluating 11 petitions that were approved for benefits in fiscal year 2004 for recertification in fiscal year 2005. The agency requests public comments.

As required by TAA, FAS must determine annually if trade and economic conditions warrant a petition’s renewal prior to the anniversary of its original certification.

Petitions being considered for renewal include those certified for wild Maine blueberry producers, Alaska and Washington salmon fishermen, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Arizona shrimp farmers and shrimp fishermen, Florida lychee growers, and catfish farmers in 18 states. Comments on recertification of these petitions must be received by FAS prior to August 16, 2004.

Under the TAA program, USDA provides technical assistance and cash benefits to farmers and qualified fishermen adversely affected by imports of like or directly competitive farmed commodities. A certified petition authorizes farmers and fishermen to submit individual applications to the Farm Service Agency for program benefits.

General information about the TAA program along with details on the 11 petitions up for recertification can be found on the program’s Web site: www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taaindex.htm.

Comments regarding petition recertification should be sent by fax or email to Jean-Louis Pajot, Coordinator, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers, FAS, USDA, fax: (202) 720-0876, e-mail: trade.assistance@fas.usda.gov.

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PR 0102-04



 
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