WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud sent a letter to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez today, urging the Secretary to extend Trade Adjustment Assistance to the 200 workers recently displaced at Old Town Fuel and Fiber. In his letter, Michaud cites increased competition from foreign trade as a significant factor in the current situation at Old Town. Michaud has long advocated for trade policies that strengthen American manufacturing, rather than giving unfair advantages to foreign countries.
"It's incredibly frustrating any time hardworking Mainers are displaced because of trade policies that don't go far enough in strengthening manufacturing," said Michaud. "These are hardworking people who have been displaced from their jobs through no fault of their own, and the Trade Adjustment Assistance is central to helping them move forward with their lives. I strongly urge the Secretary to swiftly extend TAA benefits to the Old Town workers, and I will continue to do everything I can to bring assistance to these workers."
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a program of the Department of Labor that helps workers who have lost their jobs as a result of increased imports or a shift of production outside of the United States. TAA provides these trade-affected workers with a variety of reemployment services and benefits to help them find new jobs and get back to work.
In his letter, Michaud writes:
"As one of the primary employers in Old Town, this displacement could result in serious economic consequences for the community and surrounding areas that are economically dependent on the mill....We ask that you review this Trade Adjustment Assistance petition as quickly as possible and to help these workers receive the assistance they need to secure work and lessen the negative effects on their financial stability."
A full copy of the letter is available here.