FTZ helps businesses gain advantagePublished: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 By: Cathy O'Connor Source: The Journal Record
As Oklahoma City grows its manufacturing and distribution industries, having the Foreign Trade Zone program as a key strategic economic development tool specific to import and export industries helps us compete with other major cities to encourage businesses to establish and retain operations in our market.
Companies that import products for manufacturing and distribution are able to do so more cost-effectively with FTZ designation. Having FTZ status can decrease a company’s expenses through the deferral and potential reduction of U.S. Customs duties, reduction of U.S. Customs merchandising processing fees and potential exemptions from applicable state or local inventory taxes. The FTZ also offers benefits for punitive duties such as antidumping and countervailing, Section 232 (steel and aluminum) and Section 301 (China tariffs) duties.
Will Rogers World Airport can handle imports and exports efficiently without the congestion and delays that back up coastal ports. FTZ designation further complements our airport operations as companies may have access to streamlined customs procedures that speed import and export and save time and money. Through our state’s international trade offices in four strategic world markets – China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Mexico – Oklahoma companies have 24/7 access to global business opportunities.
Oklahoma City also has a competitive advantage over other highly populated markets when it comes to location. Our city has lower shipping rates and sits in the middle of the largest market in the world with three major interstates that run through the city. A company located in our zone is only one or two days by truck to almost anywhere in the country.
FTZ #106 is organized under the Alternative Site Framework, which allows us to manage our Foreign Trade Zone with greater flexibility. Under the ASF, grantees seek expedited approval for new FTZ projects within a pre-designated service area. Within the service area, sites such as industrial parks that serve multiple users can be designated “magnet” sites. ASF also provides for a “usage-driven” site. Under this concept (similar to a subzone), a site dedicated to a specific company can be designated as an FTZ site.
To find out if utilizing the Foreign Trade Zone would be beneficial to your company, call our office, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the FTZ#106 website at www.foreigntradezone106.org.
Cathy O’Connor is the president of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.
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