Bergen, NY – With support from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of President Obama’s Export Council, Genesee County was granted Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) status just a few months ago. This designation will encourage more companies with import and export operations across the region to take advantage of associated tax breaks and incentives. After touring Liberty Pumps, the first company in the county to apply for FTZ status, Senator Gillibrand urged the U.S. Commerce Department to approve their license for full manufacturing benefits.
“Western New York is well positioned to grow its exports and spark innovative ideas to jumpstart new businesses here where we need them the most,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Certifying local manufacturers with this status would encourage and equip more local businesses to better compete in the global economy. I will use my seat on the President’s Export Council to work with Commerce Secretary Pritzker, to ensure that Western New York businesses have the tools they need to succeed and thrive.”
Trade continues to grow in the Greater Rochester region. In 2011, trade accounted for $5.5 billion in annual merchandise shipments, a 7.4 percent increase from the year before. On a per?capita basis, the Greater Rochester Region ranks 23rd among top exporting regions, with top sectors including chemicals, computer and electronic products, machinery and food products. Top trade partners include Canada, China, Mexico, Germany and the UK.
Genesee County was designated as a FTZ in December 2012 under the program’s Alternative Site Framework (ASF). This designation can benefit companies in the Agri?Business Park and here at Apple Tree Acres. Eventually other sites, such as the Buffalo East Technology Park, and Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park can be added as well. Approximately 22.5 percent of employees in Genesee County work in the manufacturing industry — a larger percentage of the county’s labor force than any other industry.
FTZ benefits include waiving a portion of federal taxes for goods coming into an FTZ zone, reduced costs for assembling or manufacturing products in the region before shipping to foreign markets, and lower custom fees on products made with imported materials.
Among all regions with FTZs in New York State, Rochester is home to the greatest amount of actively participating firms at 74, representing 62.4 percent of the firms participating in New York’s FTZs. Rochester’s FTZ receives approximately $224.3 million in merchandise annually, ranking it as the third largest import receiver in New York State.
As a member of the President’s Export Council since February, Gillibrand is working to ensure that small businesses and entrepreneurs are able to grow their businesses by accessing new markets for their products and services through expanding their exporting opportunities. The President’s Export Council is the nation’s primary advisory committee on international trade. The council makes recommendations to the President on matters relating to U.S. export trade by conducting surveys and evaluating the expansion practices of the communities represented by its members.