- Virginia's Foreign Trade Zone 20 (FTZ 20) received expansion approval by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Port of Virginia announced Monday in a press release.
- The port hopes the expansion will serve as an incentive for attracting more business to the region and help increase the port's volume.
- Manufacturers who will benefit most are those whose products receive a higher duty rate on raw materials rather than finished products.
East coast ports continue to upgrade as post-Panamax traffic increases, while also pursuing growth from a variety of sources.
The incentives from an expanded FTZ 20 will likely draw more foreign investment to Virginia and North Carolina. Though FTZ 20 is already highly active, with 17 warehouse/distribution and production locations and 71 firms, including North Carolina within its designation will make available a far wider base for relocation and manufacturing.
FTZ 20 is one of roughly 215 such zones in the U.S, and one of nine between the two states. "The Foreign Trade Zones program helps level the playing field and improves U.S. competitiveness by reducing the costs of U.S. operations," according to the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration.
The government of Virginia considers its port to be one of the main economic draws of the region. Touting desirability and expansion of range may help it become the East Coast hub its aiming for as it invests heavily in handling capacity.