Business Applauds Rollback of Foreign Trade Zone Changes Urges Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization

New York, N.Y., February 28, 2012 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s top global companies, applauded the Obama administration’s rollback of planned changes to the rules governing U.S. foreign trade zones (FTZs). USCIB had earlier said some of the proposed changes would impose significant hurdles for exporters.

The U.S. Foreign Trade Zone Board, an interagency body chaired by the Commerce Department, yesterday published final regulations that replace the current FTZ regulations. The new rules do away with a proposed change that would have required advance approval to bring goods into FTZs for manufacture, even for export, that would, if entered for consumption, be subject to antidumping or countervailing duty orders. In an October statement, USCIB and other industry groups had expressed serious concern about this proposed change.

“Our message all along has been that the Foreign Trade Zone Board should strongly promote, rather than inhibit, U.S. exports, and avoid taking steps that would result in a loss of manufacturing jobs in foreign trade zones,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “The proposed change would have negatively affected the ability of U.S. manufacturers to process materials for export, which runs counter to the purpose of a foreign trade zone.”

U.S. foreign trade zones accounted for $34.8 billion in exports in 2010 and employ some 330,000 American workers.

USCIB also joined with a number of other industry groups in urging quick passage of the four-year reauthorization bill for the Export-Import Bank of the United States. In a joint letter to President Obama, the groups said that “failure to reauthorize Ex-Im would amount to unilateral disarmament in the face of other nations’ aggressive trade finance programs.”

In a February 17 speech to workers at USCIB member company Boeing, Mr. Obama pledged to boost support for U.S. manufacturers facing subsidized foreign competition, in part through expanded Ex-Im financing for U.S. facing competition from state-subsidized firms.

About USCIB

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB

(212) 703-5043, jhuneke@uscib.org

More on USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee

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Staff Contact:   Jonathan Huneke

VP, Communications and Public Affairs
Tel: 212.703.5043

Jonathan Huneke is responsible for USCIB’s strategic communications, including media relations, publications, online content and high-level public events. He also manages the work of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee.
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