The U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board met with grantees in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. The Board has been able to fill all of its open manpower needs through consolidation of another group within the Department of Commerce. This rapid addition of three new persons brings the Board to full staff. View the complete roster of FTZ Board personnel here. The Board is planning to devote some of those resources to audits of FTZ activity of both grantees and operators. It’s primary focus will be on uniform treatment (15 CFR §400.43), production scope of authority(15 CFR §400.14), and public utility (19 U.S.C. §81(n)). The last subject may involve a review of grantee fees to ensure they are consistent with the recovery of costs and initial investment. Need more information on preparing for a Board audit? Inquire here.
We have a Commerce Secretary. Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office to Wilbur Ross, who at 79, became Commerce Secretary on Tuesday. The ceremony took place one day after the U.S. Senate voted to confirm his nomination with strong support from Democrats.
While commerce secretaries rarely take the spotlight in Washington, Ross is expected to play an outsize role in pursuing the President’s pledge to slash U.S. trade deficits and bring manufacturing jobs back to America. Now that Ross has been confirmed, and given his designation as the lead trade-policy maker, the Trump administration may be ready to move forward on its trade promises such as the renegotiation of NAFTA.
President Trump, in a prime-time address to the country, said earlier this week that "I believe strongly in free trade but it also has to be fair trade". "Currently, when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes, but when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them almost nothing," said Trump—signaling that he would like to even the playing field. In an unusual twist, he quoted trade policy for the first Republican President: "The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, warned that the 'abandonment of the protective policy by the American Government [will] produce want and ruin among our people,'" said Trump. "Lincoln was right—and it is time we heeded his words. I am not going to let America and its great companies and workers, be taken advantage of anymore."
The president's speech did not offer any of the details many are seeking with respect to his efforts to combat the trade deficit, or proposals to reduce corporate taxes by disproportionately taxing net importers. Perhaps with a Commerce Secretary now on board it will be possible to develop specifics for these initiatives important to the FTZ community.
The number one ocean import into Washington D.C. is. . . . . . . (wait for it) . . . . Used Furniture. Not what you might expect from one of the world’s most powerful cities, but this trade activity represents military and Administration personnel transferring back from overseas assignments. Shipping containers in front of a home are not unusual sights in this town. Can you guess what the number two import is? Wine! Turns out your Nation’s Capital consumes more wine per capita than any of the fifty states. The recent gathering of grantees in D.C. may have something to do with that.
Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add automotive fuel injection assemblies to list of finished products within Subzone 29F in Harrodsburg, Kentuc (More)
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add automotive vehicles to their list of finished products in Subzone 177B in Princeton, Indiana (More)
Claremont Flock, a Division of Spectro Coating Corporation, submitted a notification of proposed production activity for textile flock that was not authorized. A complete production authority application will be required before production activity can begin within Subzone 27N, in Leominster, Massachusetts (More)
Whirlpool Corporation submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add additional parts for washing machines to their list of components in Subzone 8I in Clyde and Green Springs, Ohio (More)
Airbus Americas, Inc. received authorization of production activity for aircraft with a restriction that leather and textile materials be admitted in privileged foreign status in Site 1 of FTZ 82 in Mobile, Alabama (More)
Comments or suggestions on our publication? The editorial staff of the Foreign-Trade ‘Zine, the eMagazine of FTZ News would love to hear from you.
Even the cherry blossoms in your Nation’s Capital are confused. They came up on stage this past weekend even though they weren’t supposed to be there. Due to a string of unusually warm weather in the area, the National Park Service is predicting that this year’s peak blooming period will be March 14-17, weeks earlier than usual. Planning to visit them this year? Better make reservations to get here quickly.