The governor’s office said the changes in Zone 214, approved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, were instigated by Gov. McCrory’s policies and will help the state increase manufacturing jobs and global trade.
Patrick Conway, a UNC economics professor and department chairperson, said foreign-trade zones allow businesses to import goods without being subject to customs taxes as long as the goods will be re-exported.
This allows local companies to be competitive in global supply chains, which Conway said refers to the tendency of companies to spread manufacturing processes across multiple countries that offer the lowest production costs for certain steps.
“To compete in that global supply chain business, a firm has to be able to import the product, assemble or add to the product, and then re-export it for sale elsewhere,” he said. “If that firm has to pay import duties, which are like taxes on the imports and they have to pay an export fee or export charge on goods that they re-export, that raises the costs of production.”