08:25 AM

DFW International Airport to Host North Texas Forum on Foreign Trade Zones

FTZ economic benefits help broaden international trade for Zone companies, developers; top official to speak

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport will host the first North Texas Foreign Trade Zone Forum, targeted at businesses, economic development professionals and commercial real estate developers interested in expanding international trade through the use of Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs). The North Texas Foreign Trade Zone Forum will be headlined by Andrew McGilvray, the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board Executive Secretary. The North Texas Foreign Trade Zone Forum takes place on January 23 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Texas Star Conference Centre in Euless, and is co-sponsored by the Dallas Regional Chamber and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. McGilvray will help attendees learn how FTZs can be used as an economic development mechanism for local communities and as a cost savings strategy for companies involved in international trade. McGilvray led the development of a new process, the Alternative Site Framework, which simplifies the FTZ designation process by allowing for quicker, easier and location-neutral FTZ setup. He also led the team that developed new regulations recently adopted by the FTZ Board, with the goal of making the FTZ program more responsive for exporters and manufacturers.

“Our goal is to expand our area’s international reach through Foreign Trade Zones by helping businesses learn how they can benefit from Zone designation while gaining a better understanding of how FTZs encourage economic development,” said Jeff Fegan, DFW Airport CEO. “What better way to help the region than bringing in Mr. McGilvray, who is the leading expert on the subject of Foreign Trade Zones.”

Foreign Trade Zones allow area businesses to operate under similar U.S. Customs regulations to business conducted in a foreign country. Businesses operating with FTZ designation typically get relief from paying Customs duties and tariffs, which in turn lowers the cost of engaging in international trade. As a local FTZ Grantee, DFW Airport can sponsor companies setting up FTZs either on-Airport or throughout the metro area. As an added benefit, DFW Airport is approved to use the new Alternative Site Framework expedited process to assist companies looking for FTZ designation within a six-county Dallas/Fort Worth area.

“FTZ regulations require that DFW operate its Foreign Trade Zone as a public utility, meaning we have a duty to assist any company that comes to us seeking FTZ designation,” said John Terrell, Vice President Commercial Development for DFW Airport. “As such, we have a responsibility to inform the surrounding communities about how Foreign Trade Zones operate and how interested businesses can get involved. We look forward to helping businesses throughout North Texas learn about Foreign Trade Zones as a catalyst for international growth.”

Two additional speakers round out the panel, including William Methenitis, Global Director of Customs and International Trade at Ernst & Young, and Elizabeth Fruggiero, DFW Cargo Supervisor and FTZ Coordinator for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), each of whom brings about thirty years of experience to the Forum.

Registration for the free Forum is available at http://dfwairport.com/landhere/ftzforum.