Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called on the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to support a Monroe County metal forge, Firth Rixson, by accepting its application for full Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) manufacturing benefits through the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board. Earlier this year, Senator Gillibrand wrote a letter to Executive Secretary of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Andrew McGilvray, urging him to accept Firth Rixson’s request for FTZ licensing that would allow the company to better compete on the international market, retain over 100 jobs at the Rochester facility and $10.4 million in revenue and salaries for Monroe County.
“In these tough economic times, protecting our domestic manufacturers should be our highest priority,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Firth Rixson is a major economic driver in Rochester and Monroe County and DOC should do everything they can to support them as part of their mission to keep American businesses innovative at home and competitive abroad. FTZ status would ease the economic burdens on Firth Rixson, allowing them to produce quality products at a lower cost using American labor.”
“Firth Rixson Monroe employs solid, hard-working Americans,” said Brian Hoover, General Manager of Firth Rixson’s Rochester facility. “We must remain competitive in the global market in order to sustain and grow our workforce.”
Firth Rixson, a world-leading provider of seamless rolled rings, forgings and specialty metals, is seeking to establish an FTZ at its facility in Rochester. This facility will import titanium billet, converting the billet into seamless rings for the aerospace industry. Foreign companies who import seamless rings into the U.S. can do so duty free, whereas Firth Rixson has to pay a 15 percent tax on the imported billet, causing them to lose contracts to overseas manufacturers and making it difficult for the company to compete in the global marketplace.
Firth Rixson contributes more than $8.2 million in annual salaries in Monroe County and fosters national economic growth through their use of domestic transportation, supplies and packaging, the value of which exceeds $2.4 million. The company currently exports approximately 54 percent of its products and would have the opportunity to increase exports if DOC grants FTZ benefits.
A copy of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to DOC is attached.