Foreign Trade Zones Seeing Upsurge in Business
Washington, DC – The value of exports from America’s Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) increased by 13.7 percent in 2013, to a record-high $79.5 billion in merchandise shipped to overseas markets, according to the US Foreign Trade Zones Board.
According to the group’s Annual Report to Congress, at $835.8 billion, the 2013 value of received merchandise into FTZs also reached a new high, surpassing the previous year’s record of $732.2 billion – a 14.1 percent increase.
Nearly two-thirds of the merchandise received by FTZs in 2013 was domestically sourced, with the value of domestic status inputs growing to $545.5 billion. The remaining $290.3 billion in received merchandise consisted of foreign status inputs, it said.
The composition of foreign status inputs received by FTZs has also shifted significantly, according to the report. In 2013, a 16 percent decline in foreign status petroleum inputs was offset by increases in other product categories, such as vehicles, electrical machinery, and consumer products.
According to the report, the $79.5 billion export figure is based solely on material inputs, and does not include the value added to those inputs by US-based manufacturers operating in FTZs.
“CAPTURING THE FULL VALUE OF EXPORTS”
The National Association of Foreign Trade Zones (NAFTZ) is currently working with the US Census Bureau and the US Foreign Trade Zones Board “to more accurately capture the full value of exports from FTZs, including the value added to foreign and domestic status inputs by FTZ user companies,” the report said.
“Record FTZ exports, merchandise received, and employment offer compelling evidence that the FTZ program is expanding and adapting to meet the needs of American-based companies competing in a global economy,” said NAFTZ President Daniel Griswold.
The zone program, he said, “has become vital to US economic policy goals of boosting exports, attracting foreign investment, and creating well-paying and sustainable private-sector jobs on American soil.”
“Since 2009, exports from foreign-trade zones have almost tripled, from $28 billion to nearly $80 billion,” Griswold added. “The FTZ program shows that when US-based companies are allowed to access global inputs at competitive prices, they can become export powerhouses.”
There were 177 active FTZs during 2013, with a total of 289 active manufacturing/production operations. A record high of 390,000 persons were employed at 3,050 firms that used FTZs during the year – an increase of 20,000 employees over 2012.
The FTZ Board processed 65 applications for new or expanded production authority in 2013, and reorganized 23 zones under the alternative site framework (ASF).
The first Foreign Trade Zone was opened on Staten Island by the Port of New York-New Jersey in February 1937.
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