NAFTZ Board Chair, Melissa Irmen, thanked U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai for requesting that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) conduct an investigation and prepare a report on the operation of the U.S. FTZs and similar programs in Canada and Mexico.
As specified by Ambassador Tai in her December 14 letter to ITC Chair Jason E. Kearns [LINK], the investigation and study should include:
“NAFTZ has for some time maintained that the drawback and duty deferral restrictions that originated in NAFTA and have now been continued in the USMCA agreement, and the Implementation Act prohibition on non-originating goods used in production processes within FTZs from qualifying as originating goods under the Agreement impose unfair handicaps on firms operating in U.S. FTZs and are in fact contrary to the goals and intent of the FTZ program,” said Irmen in a letter to Tai sent December 17. “We believe the purpose and function of the U.S. FTZ program are fully consistent with your own goal to pursue a trade policy that invests in American workers, supports domestic manufacturing, and strengthens U.S. supply-chain resilience. We look forward to working with the Commission to provide the most accurate information possible to assist in the investigation.” Irmen continued.