Dan Griswold, our new President, has it exactly right when he says that FTZ benefits are at the center of a sound 21st Century trade policy. This is no longer a backwater haven for a few companies. No business in the United States should leave, and no potential newcomer to our shores should ignore foreign trade zones. For minimizing duty expenses and maximizing efficiency in the global age, there is no better tool.
The NAFTZ participated in the recent hearing that Greg Rushford reported on as part of the effort to make FTZs work for all American industry. We view with concern recent cases that inhibit US-based manufacturers from exporting to global markets because some of their raw materials would be subject to antidumping duties if entered into US commerce. Because zones are legally outside US Customs territory, they are ideal export platforms for US companies employing US workers. We do not want this benefit to be eroded; if other investors think that they cannot enjoy these benefits because of narrow interests, they will simply open their factories in other countries and enjoy the same advantages outside the United States.
The same issues are present in the new FTZ Board regulations, which are likely to be published in the new few days. We are encouraged by what we heard on Friday from the White House that they understand what zones are all about and how they can help promote exports and job creation here at home. We will be able to say more about this when the regulations are finally published. But if we can help the President move the country in the right direction, we will have done our jobs.