NTX Magazine Volume 4 - Page 18

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT Aviation Stands for Flexibility in DFW S itting atop the list for both the total amount of merchandise received and exports in the top 25 states for foreign-trade zone activity is the great state of Texas. While oil and petroleum make up 80 percent, by value, of the products that come through foreign-trade zones, or FTZs, in Texas, other electronics, electrical machinery and consumer products also constitute tens of millions of dollars of business that comes through the state, according to the Report of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board that went to the U.S. Congress from the Department of Commerce this summer. But for once, says Bill Methenitis, global director of Customs and International Trade for Ernst & Young, the value in what we have here in North Texas is not about being bigger. Rather, it’s about flexibility. “What’s important for business is that there is a huge amount of flexibility in this area. The zones, particularly DFW Airport, had the forethought to arrange that flexibility so it exists over a large geographic area,” explained Methenitis. “You now have eight counties that have been approved for foreign-trade zones. Any business that wants to use that has the ability to do so via a short-form access that the government turns around in 30 days. Nowhere else in the country is there a better environment to conduct business internationally.” “It’s due to the size of the zones, the background and knowledge that FTZs have here,” noted Kathy Wilkins, vice president of Alliance Operating Services. “Customs in Texas is very familiar with the zone program. We get a lot less push-back because they understand it, even more so than other areas of the country. We have distribution, food, manufacturing, assembly, every kind of component you might need.” 16 www.ntc-dfw.org Winter/Spring 2015 Perhaps it is not surprising in a state known for its love of all things larger and bigger. In the North Texas area alone are several FTZs larger than those in many