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House Of Representatives Approves Trade Assistance Tax Breaks

by Leroy Baker,, New York

01 November 2007

The House of Representatives has approved new legislation that will expand the Trade Assistance Act and provide firms operating in designated areas of the US suffering from the effects of globalization with tax breaks.

If enacted, the Trade and Globalization Assistance Act of 2007 would create new benefits and tax incentives for industries and communities that have been hit hard by increasing globalization. These include: twenty-four manufacturing redevelopment zones, which will be eligible for redevelopment tax incentives; up to $3.6 billion of tax credit bond authority for manufacturing redevelopment zones; up to $5.52 billion in tax-exempt manufacturing redevelopment zone facility bonds; an increase in the State low-income housing credit ceiling of states with manufacturing redevelopment zones; and extended eligibility for the work opportunity tax credit to employers that hire individuals living within a manufacturing redevelopment zone.

Commenting on the approval of the bill, which passed by a vote of 264-157, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel stated that the reforms represent "the next step in a new trade policy to create and strengthen opportunities for American workers here and abroad".

He continued: "This bill is just the beginning of a growing movement to ensure that the government and the private sector are doing more to reach out to workers, industries and communities affected by trade to help them maintain their competitive edge. Through enhanced education opportunities, worker training, health care benefits and investment incentives, we can move forward with a comprehensive trade policy that combats the negative effects of globalization and eliminates the growing perception that trade is not working for American workers."

Other major provisions of new legislation would expand TAA coverage to more workers, including service workers, and substantially improve the program’s training opportunities and associated health care benefits.

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