Rock, Walworth counties become part of Foreign Trade Zone
Rock and Walworth counties are now part of a federal trade program that offers significant benefits to existing and new businesses.
The two counties are joining 10 others in southeastern Wisconsin in a Foreign Trade Zone associated with the Port of Milwaukee.
The U.S. government created the program in the 1930s to promote international trade and increase the global competitiveness of U.S.-based companies.
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently agreed to expand the Port of Milwaukee trade zone to include businesses in 12 counties in southeastern Wisconsin.
A foreign trade zone is an approved area within the United States—in or near a U.S. Customs port of entry—that is considered outside the U.S. Customs territory. Certain types of merchandise can be imported into a zone without going through formal customs entry procedures or paying import duties.
Customs duties and excise taxes are only due at the time of transfer from the zone for U.S. consumption.
If the merchandise is re-exported, then no duties or taxes are paid on those items.
Companies in the zone can defer, reduce or eliminate duties, which represents costs savings.
With prior approval, businesses can have their imports delivered directly to their facility without waiting for customs clearance. This provides a more efficient supply chain.
Communities benefit, according to foreign trade zone officials, because cost savings on tariffs can be used for other investments such as workforce expansion or adding equipment or infrastructure. The savings also are a benefit that doesn't require any local funding, they said.