Columbiana Port Authority Updated on FTZ 181

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – The board of the Columbiana County Port Authority was given an update Monday night on Foreign Trade Zone 181 of which it has been a part since 1996.

Ron DeBarr, CEO of Neotec — the Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium — and John Senese, its vice president of international operations, briefed the board on the benefits businesses engaged in importing and exporting can derive by using a foreign trade zone – or FTZ.

An FTZ is a secure area supervised by U.S. customs agents but generally considered outside their jurisdiction to impose duties. In an FTZ, goods can be landed, stored, handled, manufactured or improved before they’re shipped, exempt from U.S. taxes, either to another FTZ or abroad.

At $49 billion, Ohio ranked eighth among the states in 2015, Senese said.

The Columbiana County Port Authority has been part of FTZ 181 (Akron-Canton) since Neotec was started in 1996. “Columbiana County was a charter member of the foreign trade zone,” DeBarr noted.

The FTZ program “is a federal program to level the playing field to keep United States manufacturing here and not move off shore,” he added.

Neotec’s Global Trade Group program helps businesses interested in expanding into international markets. Its International Counseling Program, which outlines the export regulations and classifications, and its Dedicated Executive Program provide training for a company’s staff.

“These programs help lower trade barriers a company has in front of them in order to get into exports,” Senese said.

The Logistics Network program works to position the region as a multimodal logistics hub, including hosting the region’s logistics conference, industry roundtables and other events.

“We are not looking for a job for ourselves, but we are looking to create jobs for a company,” Senese said.

The CEO of the port authority, Penny Traina, informed her board that the property in front of its building at 1250 St. George St. has been vacated, allowing room for various economic development projects.

Traina said she is unsure how the lot will be used because its availability is only the “beginning stages” of what is to come.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.