Senator Stabenow, Peters Introduce Bill to Support Workers Impacted by Coronavirus Crisis and Trade

Saturday, March 21, 2020

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) today introduced a bill to support workers who lose their jobs because of trade or coronavirus related reasons. The bill improves the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which supports trade-impacted workers and provides them with benefits such as extended unemployment insurance and job-training resources.


“Coronavirus has led to major disruptions in our global supply chain and affected the jobs of many of our workers. Because of the continued outbreak, it’s critical we make sure workers get assistance as quickly as possible. I’m focused on making sure workers have good paying jobs, which includes providing them the opportunities and training they need for the jobs of the future,” said Senator Stabenow.


“The Coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating impact on Michigan workers. They shouldn’t have to worry about whether they can put food on the table for their families or paying their bills,” said Senator Peters. “We need to take every step possible to support Michigan working class families. This bill will expand support for those out of work due to the Coronavirus pandemic while strengthening existing efforts around skills trainings and apprenticeships.”


The Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Reauthorization Act of 2020:


  • Expands eligibility of who can receive benefits: makes workers eligible for the program if they have been laid off because their company cannot import supplies due to disruptions in the global supply chain or export their products because of weak demand during the ongoing spread of coronavirus


  • Enhances income support: provides workers with up to 156 weeks of income support if they are enrolled in a registered apprenticeship program, associate’s degree programs, and other qualified training program—up from 130 weeks. The bill also allows for benefits to be paid to workers in registered apprenticeships, customized training, and on-the-job training who make under $55,000 per year.  


  • Improves outreach and education: requires states to provide impacted workers with information about registered apprenticeship programs and other on-the-job training opportunities in the worker’s area. Also provides states with new tools to ensure workers are aware of their ability to receive benefits.


  • Speeds up notifications: companies that offshore jobs have to let workers know about the Trade Adjustment Assistance program and disclose where they are offshoring their jobs. This notification will make it easier for the Department of Labor to provide workers with benefits before they are laid off.