Frequently Asked Questions


What is TAAF?

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms
is a federal program that provides technical assistance to manufacturers negatively impacted by import competition. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, this cost-sharing federal assistance program pays for the costs of consultants or industry-specific experts for projects that improve a firm’s global competitiveness.



How long must a company have been in business to apply? At least 24 months. 

What are the criteria for acceptance? A negative impact on business volume and labor resulting from imports.

We also produce goods and or services off shore. Can we still apply? Yes, but only domestic volume and employment will be considered in the process of certifying the company as trade-injured.


How do I know that competitors and others won’t find out my trade secrets or financial information? The information you submit is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. Only the company’s name, and a brief description of products manufactured will appear in the Federal Register.

Your Responsibilities

What does it cost to apply? There are no costs to apply.

How is the amount of assistance determined? The company’s size, the number of employees, its complexity, the nature of the issues it faces, and the robustness of its commitment to upgrade its global competitiveness.

Is there a cost share? Yes. Depending on the firm’s specific circumstances, the firm will cost-share 25% or 50% of the assistance.

Technical Assistance Guidelines

What restrictions apply? Assistance cannot be used to acquire assets or to cover salaries.

What can the assistance be used for? The assistance can be used to upgrade virtually any business process, through the implementation of knowledge-based projects by outside experts and consultants, including, but not limited to: marketing, sales, operations, financial management, IT, planning, training, new product development, new service development, quality assurance, customer service, software customization, etc.


How long does it take to get approved? Each company’s circumstances are unique but the entire process has averaged about 4 months over the past couple of years. Your experience may be longer or it may be shorter.

How long is the assistance available to me? Your firm will be expected to start projects within 6 months of approval and we encourage all firms to use all assistance within 2 years.