Smith County companies can now join a foreign trade zone program

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2022 at 6:57 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The U.S. Department of Commerce approved a foreign trade zone program in Smith County.

On September 1st, the Tyler Economic Development Council (TEDCO) received the approval letter.

“We’ve got to show our companies and companies that are considering investment here in our community that they can make more money here than anywhere else they’re considering, and this is just another piece of the puzzle,” President of Tyler Economic Development Council Scott Martinez said.

Martinez said a foreign trade zone allows a company to transport a foreign good without paying initial international tax. For example, for a company getting a piece of equipment shipped overseas, “If you enter it into a foreign trade zone, and that company participated in a foreign trade zone program, it wouldn’t be taxed until it left, so they would be able to defer that duty.”

TEDCO has been working to establish the Smith County foreign trade zone for two years. The zone will help ease supply chain disruptions. “If you need to stockpile a component, you don’t have to pay taxes or honor those duties until you actually use it. So, you can mitigate your supply chain by being able to warehouse that component hypothetically until you actually use it.”

The program can also benefit the entire community, “If someone is working for a manufacturer for instance, they’re shopping in stores, they’re eating at restaurants, they’re at their church so it has a lot of benefit in the community,” Martinez said.

TEDCO is planning a meeting for October 18th for businesses interested in learning more about the foreign trade zone.