December 30, 2015 | Industry Insights
Exports from Foreign Trade Zones Continue to Thrive, Up in 2014
The U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board in its Annual Report to Congress released its 2014 export figures earlier this year, indicating a record-high $99.2 billion in merchandise exported. This represents an increase of 24.8% in the value of exports from America’s Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZs). The 2014 figure also represents a threefold growth of FTZ exports in the five years since 2009.
There’s even more good news, as FTZ employment set a new record in 2014, with 420,000 jobs reported. This represents a 7.7% increase over 2013, which outpaces the overall U.S. employment growth of 1.9%.
Daniel Griswold, President of the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones, stated that these numbers underscore that the FTZ program continues to be a vital component of America’s trade policy. “The competitive advantage for companies operating in an FTZ has enabled them to boost their exports and employment to record levels, continuing their strong contribution to America’s economic recovery.”
An FTZ is a geographical area, in (or adjacent to) a United States Port of Entry, where commercial merchandise – both domestic and foreign – receives the same Customs treatment it would if it were outside the commerce of the United States. Merchandise of every description may be held in the Foreign-Trade Zone without being subject to Customs duties or other added value taxes. There were 179 active FTZs during 2014, with a total of 311 active production operations; 2,700 firms used FTZs during the year. The FTZ Board processed 57 applications for new or expanded production authority in 2014, and reorganized 18 zones under the alternative site framework (ASF), according to the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones.
FTZ imports have tripled as a share of U.S. imports over the past two decades. Last year, foreign-status inputs to FTZs totaled $288.3 billion, accounting for 12.1% of all U.S. goods imports.
“Foreign-Trade Zones continue to be hubs of manufacturing activity where domestic and foreign-sourced inputs are combined by American workers on U.S. soil to produce value-added final products for export and domestic consumption,” said Daniel Griswold.
Roanoke Trade is a long-time supporter of the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones and offers preferential pricing for surety bonds and insurance to their members. For more information about our products, please contact one of our professionals at 1-800-ROANOKE (800-762-6653).
Source: The National Association of Foreign Trade Zones (NAFTZ)