WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In its Annual Report to Congress released Wednesday, the Foreign-Trade Zones Board documents that exports from FTZs increased by 56 percent in 2011 over Fiscal Year 2010 figures. By comparison, overall U.S. goods exported during that same period rose 21 percent.
"The data released today by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board demonstrates that both import and export activities in Foreign-Trade Zones continue to rebound strongly from the recent economic recession," said Daniel Griswold, President of the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones. "The report shows impressive levels of growth in all areas of FTZ activity during 2011. Substantial increases in exports, merchandise received, and Foreign-Trade Zone employment across the country are a clear sign that the FTZ program is making a strong contribution to America's economic recovery."
According to the report, exports from Foreign-Trade Zones reached a record-high $54.3 billion in 2011 – an impressive 56 percent increase from Fiscal Year 2010, the last period for which data were published by the FTZ Board. "This remarkable level of growth significantly outpaced the nation's 18 percent total export growth over the same time period," Griswold said. Over 76 percent of these exports originated from U.S.-based manufacturing and processing operations, with the rest originating from warehousing and distribution operations.
Merchandise received in Zones reached $640.9 billion in 2011, an increase of nearly 20 percent from FY 2010 figures. Approximately 83 percent of this merchandise was used in manufacturing and production operations, while the remaining portion was sourced by warehousing and distribution operations. The main industries participating in zone manufacturing and production activities include the oil refining, automotive, electronics, pharmaceutical, and machinery/equipment sectors.
"The FTZ Board's latest annual report confirms that companies operating through the FTZ program are contributing more than their share toward meeting the National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports between 2009 and 2014," Griswold continued.
The report also documents increased levels of participation and employment in the FTZ program, estimating approximately 340,000 employees in Foreign-Trade Zones during 2011, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year's estimate. The number of firms participating in the program also increased, to 2,800. The FTZ Board also approved three new foreign-trade zones during the 2011 calendar year, and reorganized 38 zones under the alternative site framework (ASF).
"These figures demonstrate that FTZs continue to be effective in facilitating international trade and promoting U.S. employment," said Griswold. "We look forward to continuing to support this successful program in the coming year."
The complete report can be downloaded at http://ia.ita.doc.gov/ftzpage/annualreport/ar-2011.pdf
The National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones is a trade association of 650 members representing public and private organizations involved in the foreign-trade zones program. NAFTZ is the primary voice of communities and industries that utilize the FTZ program, including zone grantees, operators and users.
SOURCE National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones