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August 14 2023

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Page 53 of 63

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 54 Journal of Commerce | August 14, 2023 FOREIGN-TRADE ZONES THE UNITED STATES' competitive position has rarely come under the scrutiny that it is facing now. Whether focused on the level of investment, ongoing productivity growth or job creation, how the US stacks up against its competition is an almost constant refrain. While there are many tools that may help chisel away at this problem, one often-ignored solution may be found in our own backyard — the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) program. As the chief proponent of the FTZ program, the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ) wears many hats. It provides a forum for members of the FTZ community to come together, share ideas and extend their network of contacts. It holds conferences and webinars to train and educate FTZ users, operators and grantees on the proper integration and management of a zone as part of their sourcing and distribution footprint. And, perhaps most importantly, it advocates. While advocacy has always been a part of the NAFTZ's DNA, the increased use of trade as a foreign policy tool has amplified the need for the association to represent the interests of its members before the White House, Congress and various federal agencies that have, perhaps unwittingly, chipped away at the fabric of this valuable federal program, which has served to benefit US businesses on a bipartisan basis for more than 80 years. NAFTZ's recent advocacy efforts to protect and promote the FTZ program can be divided into three issues, all of which are focused on ensuring US FTZs operate on a level playing field while fostering economic growth and job preservation and creation within the US. Allowing US FTZ goods to qualify under USMCA The first issue comes from the United States- Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and reflects a "fix" to a "fix" that should never have been made. Under USMCA's predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), companies producing within an FTZ could not claim USMCA benefits at the time a finished good was withdrawn for entry into US commerce. This was because NAFTA's legislation excluded goods from qualifying for preferential tariff treatment based on Advocating for US businesses NAFTZ champions the interests of its members By Jeremy Page and Shannon Fura ROCKEFELLER GROUP FOREIGN Trade Zone Services has assisted companies and communities becoming involved in the US Foreign- Trade Zones (FTZ) program since 1978. Our consultants are proven leaders in the FTZ industry and for decades have served in various capacities within the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ), the trade association that represents the interests of operators, users and grantees. Our FTZ professionals monitor FTZ, trade and customs developments and maintain some of the most specialized expertise in the FTZ industry based on real-world experiences with many active FTZ clients, including small and large importers, exporters, and third-party logistics (3PL) providers. Our national experience, spanning distribution and manufacturing industries, is centered on providing long-term value-added professional support to our tenants and consulting clients. We can first help your company determine whether utilizing the FTZ program makes sense from a financial savings and logistics perspective. If the ROI is there, we can lead you through the FTZ implementation process from start to finish including application, production authority, activation and ongoing operational and compliance support. We emphasize improved inventory control and complementary security and operational processes that can be successfully integrated into your existing business while promoting trade compliance and consistent practices. We examine your practical business constraints and find creative ways to tailor our solutions to your operations. Through this approach, we serve clients in a flexible manner that is best suited to each company's customized business needs. Rockefeller Group Foreign Trade Zone Services also offers a full suite of FTZ administration training modules for every aspect of FTZ operations, including problem resolution. Training can be delivered remotely using online tools or in person at your preferred location. Proven FTZ industry leadership

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