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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Approves New Foreign-Trade Zone in Michigan

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, September 4, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Approves New Foreign-Trade Zone in Michigan

Zone to Spur Economic Growth and Foster Job Creation in Lansing, Michigan Area

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the approval of a new Foreign-Trade Zone in Lansing, Mich., to help improve Michigan’s competitive position in the global economy. This new designation will allow substantial cost savings for businesses on import duties, merchandise processing fees, faster delivery and higher security.

“This new foreign-trade zone will provide a tool that can help Michigan businesses compete internationally, create jobs and contribute to economic recovery,” Locke said.

Here’s how the designation can work for Michigan companies in the zone: Say, for example, a business sells both U.S. and foreign-made products to customers around the world. If that business is in a Foreign-Trade Zone, it can receive, warehouse and re-export products duty-free, reducing its costs and helping it to compete better with foreign-based rivals.

Each year, thousands of businesses use zones to handle both foreign and domestic products, with more than $30 billion in merchandise exported from FTZs to foreign markets.

In 2008, Michigan's export shipments of merchandise totaled $45.1 billion. The Lansing-East Lansing metropolitan area accounted for more than $587 million of exports during the first six months of 2008.

“I welcome Secretary Locke’s designation because it will help Lansing businesses compete for international business,” U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said.

“Lansing’s success in winning a Foreign-Trade Zone is a positive development for Mid-Michigan’s economy,” U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said. “Today’s announcement means that more Michigan workers and their families will have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of free and fair trade that they have long been promised.”

The new Foreign-Trade Zone is sponsored by the Capital Region Airport Authority and consists of an 846-acre site at the Capital Region International Airport in Lansing. There are more than 250 Foreign-Trade Zones across the country. For more information about the FTZs, please visit www.trade.gov/ftz.