Foreign Trade Zone

Getting in the Zone

In order to keep its business parks competitive and assist local companies to save money and become more profitable, on July 1, 2004 the Leavenworth County Port Authority (LCPA) had a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) General Warehouse Designation installed in the Gary E. Carlson Leavenworth Area Business Center.

Foreign Trade Zones are sites in or near a U.S. Customs port of entry where foreign and domestic merchandise is generally considered to be in international trade. Goods can be brought into a zone without formal Customs entry or without incurring Customs duties or excise taxes unless and until they are imported into the United States. FTZs are intended to promote U.S. participation in trade and commerce by eliminating or reducing the unintended costs or obstacles associated with U.S. trade laws. Employment that might normally be shifted to a foreign country is thereby encouraged to remain in the United States.

According to former LCPA Chair Terry Andrews, it was working with a company that was considering expansion of its manufacturing facility from Missouri to Europe that instigated LCPA’s desire to gain the designation. “When Bob Hatch, CEO of CII told us that in order to keep the jobs in the United States and still remain competitive in the international market he would have to have his new facility in a FTZ, we immediately made him the promise that we would provide it for him.” CII plans to move both its manufacturing and headquarters into the 40,000 square foot facility currently under construction in the Gary E. Carlson Leavenworth Area Business Center. The company has approximately 30 employees and expects to add another 25 in the next four years. The FTZ designation allowed those extra manufacturing jobs to be created in and stay in Kansas.

Leavenworth’s original FTZ designated area of approximately 23 acres was located on the Missouri River at the former Missouri Valley Shipyard at 1800 S. 2nd Street. Application was made to the Greater Kansas City Foreign Trade Zone (Grantee) and the US Foreign Trade Zone, Washington, D.C. to transfer that 23-acre designation to the LCPA owned business park located at 13th and Eisenhower.