Kirsten Gillibrand United States Senator for New York

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Gillibrand Urges Commerce Secretary to Designate Foreign Trade Zone for Genesee County Businesses

Measure Would Help Attract New Business, Boost Exports, Support Jobs

May 20, 2011

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to approve the application submitted by the Genesee County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) and the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GCLDC) for a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), a measure that could help attract more businesses to the region, help local businesses find new markets, and create more local jobs. 

In her letter to Secretary Locke, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “This designation would allow for important incentives that could help reduce the cost of doing business for participating companies, increase their competitiveness, and help them access new opportunities to expand their markets. The foreign trade zone designation will also minimize the need for businesses to shift their operations to foreign countries to be nearer to new markets, keeping more jobs within the United States.”

“A foreign trade zone designation for Genesee County will allow existing companies to compete in the global marketplace and attract new companies to Western New York,” stated Steve Hyde, President and CEO of the GCEDC. “Many existing companies will save money on parts they import allowing them to hire more local employees.”

Specifically, an FTZ designation allows for substantial cost savings for businesses on import duties, merchandise processing fees, faster delivery, and higher security. Thousands of businesses use FTZs to handle both foreign and domestic products each year, with more than $30 billion in merchandise exported from FTZs to foreign markets.

The GCEDC is an organization devoted to fostering increased economic activity in local communities throughout the Genesee County region.  The GCEDC’s efforts include actively marketing the county to businesses and facilitating capital investment that contributes to the creation of jobs in the region.  In fact, GCEDC has sponsored 160 projects, leveraging nearly $45 million in private investment into local businesses, and helping to create or save nearly 6,000 local jobs in the last six years alone.
Senator Gillibrand’s full letter to Secretary Locke:

Dear Secretary Locke,

I write in support of the Genesee County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) and the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation’s (GGLDC) joint application to the Foreign Trade Zone Designation Program through the U.S. Department of Commerce.  This distinction will allow the two organizations to provide support to that will help local businesses expand into international markets.

The GCEDC is an organization devoted to fostering increased economic activity in local communities throughout the Genesee County region.  The GCEDC’s efforts include actively marketing the county to businesses and facilitating capital investment that contributes to the creation of jobs in the region.  In fact, GCEDC has sponsored about 160 projects, helping to create or retain nearly 4,200 jobs in the last six years alone.

This foreign trade zone distinction will allow the GCEDC/GGLDC to assist local companies that are looking to grow their businesses in international markets.  This designation would allow for important incentives that could reduce the cost of doing business for participating companies, increase their competitiveness, and help them access new opportunities to expand their markets.  The foreign trade zone designation will also minimize the need for businesses to shift their operations to foreign countries to be nearer to new markets, keeping more jobs within the United States.

I ask that you please give this application your full consideration.  If you have any questions, or desire further information, please do not hesitate to contact my staff member Abraham Hiatt at (202) 224-4451.

Sincerely, 

Kirsten E. Gillibrand