Expanded Foreign Trade Zone to Boost Economic Outreach for Eastern NC

In a major win for economic competitiveness for company’s operating in North Carolina’s eastern counties, the U.S. Foreign Trade Zone Board recently approved an expanded Foreign Trade Zone #214. Foreign Trade Zones, or FTZs, are areas located in or near U.S. Ports of Entry that offer competitive advantages to businesses that choose to operate there. The new FTZ #214 includes 22 eastern counties and provides a bevy of benefits for businesses, including no duties on imported goods slated for eventual re-exportation, reduced duties on many finished products compared to rates that would otherwise apply to component parts, elimination of duties on scrap parts, as well as direct delivery benefits and other customs efficiencies.

“Expansion of southeastern North Carolina’s foreign-trade zone supports our goal to create jobs by helping attract new businesses and encouraging existing companies to expand,” stated Gov. McCrory in a news release put out by his office today. “This announcement will help connect North Carolina to more global trade and help our state attract manufacturing jobs returning to the United States.”

Jake Cashion, director of governmental affairs for the NC Chamber, currently serves on the board for the N.C. Foreign Trade Promotion Council (FTPC), an organization whose primary mission is to expand the global economic outreach potential of North Carolina businesses. The FTPC, along with the N.C. DOT Foreign Trade Department, have in recent years prioritized their efforts to expand eastern North Carolina’s FTZ authorization under the U.S. Department of Commerce. In addition to expanding FTZ #214, the newly approved application brings the zone under the more flexible Alternative Site Framework (ASF), which streamlines the application process for new companies that will surely want to move rapidly to benefit from its offerings. Three new magnet sites have also been approved – Radio Island, Craven County Industrial Park, and Wilmington International Airport – where new companies can quickly take advantage of the FTZ’s benefits through a pre-approved, third-party operated logistical structure.

The NC Chamber continues to support initiatives that strengthen the ability of our state’s businesses to compete both nationally and globally for new job growth. The newly approved FTZ #214 is one such initiative, and we look forward to watching its positive impacts in spreading new economic opportunities to more eastern North Carolina communities. To find out more about the expanded FTZ #214, including a full list of the 22 counties it encompasses, check out this informative article from the Greater Wilmington Business Journal. And register now to attend FTPC’s Third Annual Conference, taking place in Wilmington on Oct. 12 and Oct. 13, to learn about how North Carolina companies can strengthen their connections to the global marketplace.

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