Jefferson County and Grand Junction are seeking to become free-trade zones in an effort to attract more business, add jobs and help local companies offset some of the rising cost of international trade.
Their applications would provide the regions with a spot for companies to store imported goods and defer or bypass tariff-duty payments. There’s growing interest in these zones, also called Foreign Trade Zones, but the process is complicated, heavily regulated and, so far, little used in the only Colorado zones already approved along the Front Range.
The ongoing U.S. trade war with China has Colorado manufacturers searching for any sort of reprieve from tariffs.
“We’re serious about it, and we think it would really benefit our companies,” said C.J. Rhyne, director of business retention and expansion for the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce. “… People don’t realize over here that there are a lot of companies that import and export out of the United States.”
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