Foreign Trade Zones give Oregon businesses competitive edge
The U.S. Foreign Trade Zone program is a tool available to help businesses combat the pressure of globalization and free trade. The Port of Portland is the grantee of FTZ 45, and the program area includes Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties.
A designated FTZ is an area that’s considered outside the customs boundary of the U.S. The designation allows imported items to be processed prior to customs entry into the country or to be exported without facing U.S. tariffs.
“Oregon businesses aren’t just competing against other companies in the region,” said Isaac Barrow, who manages the FTZ at the Port. “They are up against businesses around the world, which can affect costs and job retention.”
In FTZ 45, four companies have benefited from the program including Columbia Sportswear, TZO operations, which handles foreign imported cars; LAM Manufacturing, which makes equipment used in the manufacture of processors; and Epson.
“For more than 10 years, Epson has worked with the Port of Portland under the FTZ program to reduce tariff costs,” said Linda Devoy, assistant manager of material logistics at Epson Portland Inc. “This allows us to leverage our resources to create exceptional value for our customers and remain competitive in the global market.”
In 2014, activity within the Port’s FTZ was directly responsible for more than 400 jobs and $298 million in shipments handled.