SCHUMER WILL MEET WITH NEWLY ELECTED ONEONTA MAYOR AND OTHER LOCAL OFFICIALS TO DISCUSS WAYS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN SUPPORT THE CITY AND COUNTY WITH IMPLEMENTING JOB CREATING INITIATIVES; SENATOR WILL URGE LOCAL BUSINESSES TO APPLY FOR “FOREIGN TRADE ZONE” DESIGNATION & VOWS HIS SUPPORT FOR FEDERAL APPROVAL; DESIGNATION COULD HELP LOCAL BUSINESSES GROW & CREATE NEW JOBS IN ONEONTA AND BEYOND
Schumer Will Push For A Critical Application that Could Help Businesses Throughout Otsego County; Senator Says Local Companies Are Being Hit With High Duties On Imported Materials
Schumer: Application Is The First Step To Grow Businesses & Create New Jobs
Standing at the Otsego County IDA Offices in Oneonta, NY, and after meeting with Mayor Gary Herzig, Otsego Board of Representatives Chairwoman Kathy Clark and other local officials about local projects and creating new local jobs, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged local businesses in Otsego County to consider applying for a foreign trade zone (FTZ) designation. Schumer said FTZs could provide critical help to Otsego County employers, allowing them to remain competitive with foreign manufactures and expand production of local products. These zones are designated sites in the United States where companies can benefit from reduced or eliminated customs duties on imports of materials they use to make their finished product. An FTZ designation for Otsego County manufacturing companies would save companies money, which they could then reinvest to expand production. Schumer said that once an FTZ application is ready he will immediately support their applications.
“Right now, Otsego County is poised to turn a corner and is ready to see business and development thrive. That is why I am urging area businesses to work with the county IDA – after a very productive meeting with local leaders – to apply for a Foreign Trade Zone designation. With an FTZ in hand, businesses in New York and throughout the county save thousands on import duties, money they can now pour right back into their business in the form of expanded production and new hires,” said Schumer. “Not only will this help us level the playing field for products that bear the stamp ‘Made in the USA,’ but also help us support businesses that compete with China and companies in other foreign markets.”
Schumer explained that these FTZs are approved by the FTZ Board that is under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Commerce and the Dept. of Treasury. FTZs are unique because they are secure areas under U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) where a company can benefit from streamlined customs procedures and no import duties for foreign merchandise entering the FTZs and re-exported as different products. For foreign imports that are used to produce a product sold in the U.S., the company is allowed to pay the duty on the foreign import or the finished product that exits the zone, whichever is lower. Essentially, Schumer said this means companies within the FTZ could benefit greatly because these customs duties are either reduced or eliminated on imports. These imports would be components and parts for products that are then manufactured in businesses in Otsego County, which support local workforces. Schumer said that local businesses work with the Otsego County IDA for this FTZ status and that he would work on the with the federal government to secure approval.
As a result, following his meeting with local economic development professionals, county and city leaders Schumer is urging local businesses to step forward and work with the Otsego County IDA, to apply for an FTZ. Schumer said he would support the application and its expeditious review if it will mean good things for businesses across the county. Schumer highlighted that were are companies and businesses throughout the Otsego County area that stood to benefit from reduced or delayed customs duties.
Specifically, with an FTZ, companies would be able to import parts and components, where local workers would be able to assemble the finished products for warehousing, all without having to pay duties on their imports. By reducing the cost of duties, FTZ status would incentivize area businesses to manufacture products domestically.
Schumer said there are existing businesses and companies within the county that could potentially benefit from such a designation. Companies that import raw material and export their final product could see substantial savings on fees. Saved costs mean more liquidity to reinvest into expansion, and job growth. Companies like Cooperstown Brewing Company and Brewery Ommegang from the craft beer industry or a manufacturer in the energy sector like Ioxus are just a few local examples that could benefit from this designation.
Additionally an FTZ could help support economic development projects under works at the City and County level. For example, Schumer cited the Oneonta Rail Yards re-development plan, a project focused on bringing new business opportunity and growth to this conveniently located site. A FTZ designation for the Rail Yards project would offering immediate savings on operation costs, such as storage or assembly for a company with FTZ. The FTZ would make this an attractive site for businesses to locate. The same holds true for the multi feature Market Street Redevelopment planned with the City. A cost savings on export and import fees will be an inducement for business and industry to locate in the new development, and a support to their growth once established.
Schumer was joined by Kathy Clark, Chair of the Otsego County Board of Representatives, Gary Herzig, Mayor for the City of Oneonta, Sandy Mathes, CEO of Otsego NOW, Otsego IDA and Otsego CRC.