The Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce and the Quad-City Foreign Trade Zone will co-host a seminar Oct. 19 for companies interested in international trade.
Reps. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., U.S. Department of Commerce officials, international trade consultants and chamber representatives will discuss government programs that assist companies with export, the benefits of a Foreign Trade Zone, or FTZ, and the impact of foreign trade on the U.S. economy.
Foreign Trade Zones are designed to lower the cost of doing business and stimulate economic growth and development in the United States. They also are designated sites in the U.S. where foreign and domestic merchandise is considered to be outside the U.S. Customs territory, allowing companies to defer, alter, or in some cases, eliminate duties.
“Working within a foreign trade zone gives U.S. businesses an upper hand by potentially reducing or eliminating import taxes, reducing delivery times and improving cash flow. An FTZ offers tremendous savings potential to companies that import and export a high volume of goods, and we encourage any business that does so to come to this event and learn more,” said Mat Pruitt, vice president of regional business development for the chamber and secretary/treasurer of the FTZ.
He said designation as an Alternative Site Framework is being sought “to benefit existing companies and continue to make the area more attractive for companies that bring jobs and positive economic impact.”
The Quad-City FTZ is one of only two in the country that spans two states, which makes it advantageous for supply chain relationships, he said.
In the past 12 months, businesses in and around the Quad-Cities have imported and exported merchandise with 43 nations.
Under the Alternative Site Framework designation, the local zone would serve 18 counties, including Henderson, Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Warren counties in Illinois and Cedar, Clinton, Des Moines, Dubuque, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Lee, Louisa, Muscatine, Scott and Washington counties in Iowa.