FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF)?

TAAF is a federal program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help U.S. companies injured by imports.

What can TAAF do for my company?

If eligible, your company can receive up to $75,000 in federal matching grant funding to help mitigate the injury that imports of like or similar products are causing to your bottom line.

How much will it cost my company?

There is absolutely no charge to your company to become certified as eligible for the TAAF program.  Once your company is eligible, the cost of the TAAF program is shared between the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) and your company.  We ask that you share 25% of the cost to develop the Adjustment Proposal (AP) that will be submitted to EDA for approval.  This cost will not exceed $1,000.  Then, depending on the size of your company, your company will be responsible for 25% - 50% of the cost to implement the projects included in your AP.

Will my company have to repay the federal grant funding?

No.

How long does it take before my company can get started on projects?

It usually takes between 4-6 months before the AP is approved and work on projects can begin.

How can I find more information about the program?

If you are located in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon or Washington, call NorthwestTAAC toll free at 800-667-8087, or simply email us.  For more information about the national TAAF program click here.

Is this the same as Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers?

No, but for more information on that program, see the U.S. Department of Labor website at http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact or call them at 202-693-3560.

Who is eligible for assistance?

Any U.S. manufacturing, agriculture or seafood operation that is experiencing impact from imports.  If you think your company may be eligible, please contact us.

I am not sure if my company is eligible.  How can I find out?

There is absolutely no charge to your company to become certified as eligible for the Trade Adjustment For Firms (TAAF) program.  Please contact us to find out if you qualify.

Why do I need your help to determine if my company qualifies?

NorthwestTAAC's role is to be an advocate for your company.  From petition preparation to project implementation, we simplify the process and guide your company through each step of the program.  We have a thorough understanding of the eligibility requirements, which increases the likelihood of your company's successful certification into the TAAF program.

Can a domestic subsidiary of a foreign parent corporation qualify for the program?

Being a domestic subsidiary of a foreign parent corporation does not necessarily disqualify your company.  Contact NorthwestTAAC so that we can evaluate your position and eligibility.

Is the information about my company going to be shared with the Internal Revenue Service or other government agencies?

All information you provide is confidential and only the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) sees your information.  It does not share the information with other agencies.

Will my company have to report every detail about our business to the government?  For how long?

No.  You will only have to supply NorthwestTAAC with your gross sales and employment figures while in the program and for three years after your last project is completed.

Much of the information required to enter the program and receive assistance is highly confidential.  How can I be sure that competitors will not see it?

Because we are a private non-profit organization, we are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.  We give EDA only as much information as is needed to successfully qualify your company for the program.  All information provided to EDA is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act as well, because it is classified as “Business Confidential.”  Only your company's name, address and what your company produces is made public in the Federal Register at the time of certification.

What is the Adjustment Proposal (AP)?

Upon certification, our staff will work with you to develop a plan, or AP, for your company that will include: An analysis of the competition facing your company and industry; a review of your company's current status and strategy; and a plan for addressing domestic and import competition, including a description of the projects to be implemented using the federal grant funding.

The AP is also written for the benefit of U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) staff in Washington, D.C. to reach a decision on the acceptability of your company's request for assistance.  It will include a list of specific consulting projects to be undertaken by your company, an estimate of the cost of the projects and the amount to be cost-shared between your company and NorthwestTAAC.

What if I don't agree with the assessment of needs for my company?

The AP is a collaborative effort between your management team and NorthwestTAAC's technical assistance team.  Together we evaluate overall management needs and strategy.  With this information we will formulate a viable adjustment strategy.  Once the AP is written, your company will review and discuss any changes to be made with NorthwestTAAC.  An AP will not be submitted for EDA review and approval until your company is in support of the AP.

Who decides which projects need to be done?

Project planning is a collaborative effort between your company and NorthwestTAAC.

Who will implement approved projects?

Projects must be completed by consultants or other outside professional service providers.

How does my company find the consultants?  Who picks the consultants?

Consultants are selected by a collaborative effort between your company and NorthwestTAAC.  If you do not know of an appropriate consultant, NorthwestTAAC will help you find the right one.  NorthwestTAAC can assist your company in selecting a consultant to complete the approved implementation project by preparing and coordinating a request for proposal from multiple bidders, evaluating consultants or negotiating contracts.

Are we restricted to using a limited pool of "approved" consultants to implement projects?

No. The only requirements are that they must be a legitimate contractor able to do business with the government and that the cost must be in line with an approved Scope of Work.

What happens if my company doesn't like the consultants or we have a problem with a project?

Though this rarely happens, NorthwestTAAC is there to help if it does.  Our contract permits you to cancel a project if your company is dissatisfied with the consultant's work.  If, after beginning a project, you do not like the consultant selected, the contracts can be cancelled with appropriate notice.

Do we always have to use the lowest cost provider?

No.  NorthwestTAAC believes in finding the best value for each project.  This entails also considering each consultant's experience and expertise, the fit of the project plan to your needs, and timing.

How does the consultant get paid?  Does my company pay first and get reimbursed?

Your company pays its share (25% - 50%) and then NorthwestTAAC pays the balance immediately after you have paid your portion to the consultant.

What is the Adjustment Proposal (AP)?

Upon certification, our staff will work with you to develop a plan, or AP, for your company that will include: An analysis of the competition facing your company and industry; a review of your company's current status and strategy; and a plan for addressing domestic and import competition, including a description of the projects to be implemented using the federal grant funding.

The AP is also written for the benefit of U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) staff in Washington, D.C. to reach a decision on the acceptability of your company's request for assistance.  It will include a list of specific consulting projects to be undertaken by your company, an estimate of the cost of the projects and the amount to be cost-shared between your company and NorthwestTAAC.

What if I don't agree with the assessment of needs for my company?

The AP is a collaborative effort between your management team and NorthwestTAAC's technical assistance team.  Together we evaluate overall management needs and strategy.  With this information we will formulate a viable adjustment strategy.  Once the AP is written, your company will review and discuss any changes to be made with NorthwestTAAC.  An AP will not be submitted for EDA review and approval until your company is in support of the AP.

Who decides which projects need to be done?

Project planning is a collaborative effort between your company and NorthwestTAAC.

Who will implement approved projects?

Projects must be completed by consultants or other outside professional service providers.

How does my company find the consultants?  Who picks the consultants?

Consultants are selected by a collaborative effort between your company and NorthwestTAAC.  If you do not know of an appropriate consultant, NorthwestTAAC will help you find the right one.  NorthwestTAAC can assist your company in selecting a consultant to complete the approved implementation project by preparing and coordinating a request for proposal from multiple bidders, evaluating consultants or negotiating contracts.

Are we restricted to using a limited pool of "approved" consultants to implement projects?

No. The only requirements are that they must be a legitimate contractor able to do business with the government and that the cost must be in line with an approved Scope of Work.

What happens if my company doesn't like the consultants or we have a problem with a project?

Though this rarely happens, NorthwestTAAC is there to help if it does.  Our contract permits you to cancel a project if your company is dissatisfied with the consultant's work.  If, after beginning a project, you do not like the consultant selected, the contracts can be cancelled with appropriate notice.

Do we always have to use the lowest cost provider?

No.  NorthwestTAAC believes in finding the best value for each project.  This entails also considering each consultant's experience and expertise, the fit of the project plan to your needs, and timing.

How does the consultant get paid?  Does my company pay first and get reimbursed?

Your company pays its share (25% - 50%) and then NorthwestTAAC pays the balance immediately after you have paid your portion to the consultant.

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How much Trade Adjustment For Firms (TAAF) funding is available to my company?

Depending on the size of your company, the TAAF program will provide between $22,500 and $75,000 in project cost sharing.

When do I have access to funding?

Once certification for the TAAF program is received, an Adjustment Proposal (AP) can take approximately one month for preparation and 10-30 days for approval, depending on the complexity of the company and the availability of needed information.

Can I use the funding for anything I want?

No.  Specific projects are outlined in the AP written by a project manager who works directly with the principal contact at the company (designated by the company).  Funds can only be used to pay for third party consultants or other outside professional service providers.  Funds cannot be used to purchase assets such as capital equipment or salaries.

What types of improvement projects are eligible for TAAF program cost sharing?

Improvement projects must be completed by third party consultants or other outside professional service providers.  Participants have increased their competitiveness by reviving marketing efforts, addressing deficiencies in manufacturing and engineering, obtaining quality certifications, training employees, investing in information technology and many more.

Can my company use the assistance money to implement the projects ourselves?

No.  There will be no direct exchange of money or funds from NorthwestTAAC to your company.  All projects must be performed by outside, professional contractors or consultants.

Can you pay for a project my company already started?

NorthwestTAAC cannot match TAAF funds for any projects that have already started or that have been completed.  Any work done prior to the signing of consultant contracts is not fundable through the TAAF program.

Can my company buy equipment with TAAF funds?

No.  Equipment or any “hard asset” cannot be purchased with this money.

Can my company buy software for our new MIS or to improve our efficiency?

Off-the-shelf software cannot be purchased with these funds.  However, software can be designed and off-the-shelf software can be customized.

Can my company use the funds to attend trade shows?

Marketing tools can be designed for trade shows, but the cost to attend is not covered.

Can my company build molds and tooling with these funds?

Yes, as long as they are used only for testing purposes and are not meant for production.

Can my company use the funds for employee training?

Yes, training is permissible but we cannot pay for related travel or salary expenses.

My company wants to use TAAF assistance for ISO 9000 certification.  Will TAAF cover the costs?

NorthwestTAAC can pay for all preparation and registration costs of ISO 9000.  The annual fees, however, are not covered.

I would like to develop a value-added product for my business.  Is this covered?

Yes, this program can help you develop value-added products for your business.

We need a new website and product catalog.  Can we use funds for that?

Yes, the creative development of marketing tools such as websites, advertising and catalogs can be developed with program funds.  However, funds cannot be used to cover website hosting, routine maintenance, on-line advertising placement or printing costs.

Can my company use TAAF funds for more than one project?

Multiple projects can be performed for your company at once, subject to the availability of funds.

Does my company have to do all the projects at the same time?

No.  Projects can be timed to fit your company's strategic and/or cash flow needs.

How long will my company have to use the grant funding?

Companies have up to five years to use their TAAF funding.  However, many companies use the funding within the first two or three years of AP approval.