WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2010—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) will accept a petition for review under the fiscal year 2011 Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers Program. The petition was filed by the New Hampshire Commercial Fisherman’s Association representing northeast ground fish producers in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
The TAA for Farmers Program provides technical assistance and cash benefits to eligible U.S. producers and fishermen of raw agricultural commodities whose crops or catch have been adversely affected by imports of like or directly competitive commodities. The TAA for Farmers Program was reauthorized and modified by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
Accepting a petition for review begins the process by which USDA determines a commodity’s eligibility under the program. Petitions must demonstrate that either the national average price, or production, or value of production, or cash receipts, of the U.S. commodity has declined by greater than 15 percent in the most current year—compared to the previous 3-year average—and that an increase in imports during the same time period contributed importantly to the decline. If a commodity is determined to be eligible, USDA will certify the petition and publish a notice in the Federal Register. Affected producers then have 90 days to contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency to apply for assistance under the program.
Groups interested in joining the petition filed by the New Hampshire Commercial Fisherman’s Association must complete form FAS-930, which is available on the FAS Web site at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taaforms.asp. Forms may be sent by fax: (202) 720-0876; or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or by U.S. mail: TAA, Foreign Agricultural Service, Stop 1021, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-1021; or by courier delivery: TAA, Foreign Agricultural Service, Suite 400, USDA, 1250 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20024. The use of fax or e-mail is preferred. FAS must receive form FAS-930 no later than 15 days from the date of the Federal Register notice that announces the petition’s acceptance. TAA Federal Register notices can be found on the FAS Web site at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/fr/notices.asp.
FAS will hold a public hearing on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time to receive oral comments associated with this petition. The petitioners requested a public hearing to present evidence showing that imported ground fish are in direct competition with eastern ground fish production in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
The hearing will be held via teleconference. Persons who wish to listen or speak at the hearing must register with the TAA Coordinator, (202) 720-0638 or (202) 690-0633, at least 24 hours before the hearing. Presenters will be allotted time to speak via telephone and must dial 1(800) 867-6144. When prompted for a conference code, speakers should enter 5453 on their telephone keypad. Participants should also submit a written summary of their remarks for the record by faxing them to (202) 720-0876.
Persons with disabilities who require accommodation should contact Francesca Kerr, at (202) 720-7233, or 1(800) 877-8339 (Federal Relay Service), or by e-mail at Francesca.Kerr@fas.usda.gov.
General information about the TAA for Farmers Program can be found on the FAS Web site at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa, or by contacting the TAA for Farmers Program staff, Office of Trade Programs, at (202) 720-0638 or (202) 690-0633, or by e-mail at: email@example.com.
USDA Contact: USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).