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02/28/2012

FW's Alliance Airport No. 1 foreign trade zone in U.S., according to report

FORT WORTH — More than $4 billion worth of foreign goods passed through the foreign trade zone at Fort Worth’s Alliance Airport in fiscal 2010, ranking it the No. 1 foreign trade zone in the U.S., according to a new government report.

It is the fourth time in five years the Alliance Foreign-Trade Zone has received the top U.S. ranking, said Hillwood Properties, which operates the airport. The dollar amount was a 36 percent increase over the worth of foreign goods to pass through the trade zone at Alliance in 2009.

Alliance admitted $4.056 billion worth of goods and was followed by Chicago at $4.044 billion, according to the annual report of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board. Newark ranked No. 3 with $3.2 billion, followed by Houston, $2.9 billion, and Charleston, S.C., $2 billion.

About 80 percent of the products coming into Alliance’s trade zone came from China, 12 percent from South Korea and 8 percent from Denmark. Other countries of origin also included Mexico, Taiwan, the Philippines and Thailand.

"The Alliance Foreign-Trade Zone continues to experience tremendous growth because of the substantial, and increasing, presence of global companies at AllianceTexas and in the surrounding region," said Steve Boecking, Hillwood’s vice president. "Regional efforts to strengthen international relationships and to build new global trade partnerships have also resulted in an increased volume of foreign goods being shipped through North Texas."

Most of the product that passes through Alliance comes into ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach. It remains in U.S. Customs and Border Protection as it’s transported to BNSF Railway’s intermodal facility at Alliance.

Foreign-Trade Zones allow companies to reduce importing costs and improve supply chain efficiencies. Duty payment is not required until the imported goods enter the U.S. for consumer use.

_ Sandra Baker

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