News

Carroll County’s Southwire Company, LLC Becomes Latest Georgia Firm to Join FTZ Program

ATLANTA, Oct. 17, 2019 – Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) President and CEO Julie Brown today welcomed Southwire Company, LLC of Carrollton, Georgia, as the latest company to join the Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) program in Georgia. By joining the FTZ program, Southwire will realize a variety of unique FTZ program benefits including the delay and reduction in tariffs and other import fees, and a more efficient movement of goods to their Villa Rica (Douglas County) retail warehouse facility.

Southwire, a family-owned Georgia company and industry leader, will use its new FTZ status to warehouse and distribute portable and electronic cord products, engineered products, assembled products, contractor equipment and hand tools.

“We’re thrilled that Southwire is making the FTZ program a key component of its business strategy. By capping fees, realizing the benefits of direct delivery and delaying when tariffs are paid, company leaders can reliably save the company a considerable amount of money. By being more competitive, this great Georgia company is strengthening its ties to the community and its commitment to its employees,” said Brown.

More than two dozen companies employing more than 10,000 Georgians are presently working with GFTZ to access the benefits of the FTZ program, which are available to any company operating in the state. Southwire is the first company operating in Douglas County to join the program.

“We have been working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Georgia Foreign Trade Zone Board to understand how Southwire can best utilize existing systems to ensure the most cost effective yet fluid supply chain advantages offered through the use of the FTZ program” said Jeff Williams, director of compliance for Southwire. “Going forward we plan to expand our use of the FTZ program through increased volume in west Georgia as well as a future activation of a FTZ facility on the West Coast, allowing Southwire to maintain its competitive advantage in the marketplace while ensuring smooth supply to our customers.”

About Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone
Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) is a private non-profit corporation that serves as the federally appointed grantee with administrative responsibilities over Foreign-Trade Zone #26, serving the majority of Georgia. GFTZ is dedicated to fostering economic growth in Georgia and the U.S. through the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone program. For more information visit www.georgiaftz.com.

About Southwire Company
A leader in technology and innovation, Southwire Company, LLC is one of North America’s largest wire and cable producers. Southwire and its subsidiaries manufacture building wire and cable, metal-clad cable, portable and electronic cord products, utility products, OEM wire products and engineered products. In addition, Southwire supplies assembled products, contractor equipment and hand tools. For more on Southwire’s products, its community involvement and its vision of sustainability, visit www.southwire.com.


Global Atlanta: Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone Program Benefits Japanese Companies (and Thousands of Their Local Employees)

Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone Program Benefits Japanese Companies (and Thousands of Their Local Employees)
Global Atlanta
By Julie Brown
August 1, 2019
https://www.globalatlanta.com/georgia-foreign-trade-zone-program-benefits-japanese-companies-and-thousands-of-their-local-employees/

Few bilateral economic relationships are as important to Georgia’s economy as its ties to Japan. Since the 1970s, the Peach State has repeatedly shown its friends in Tokyo that Georgia is a hub for investment and business opportunities.

Our pro-business policies, world-class transportation and highly educated and skilled workforce has led Japan to invest more than $12 billion in the state through some 600 Japanese-affiliated companies that employ more than 35,000 Georgians. It has become, undoubtedly, a special relationship.

Next week, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, Congressman Drew Ferguson and more than a dozen state legislators will join Japanese officials and business leaders to celebrate economic ties that are healthy, mutually beneficial and prosperous. This extraordinary evening will also help to draw attention to the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone program which is used by some of the largest and most successful Japanese firms operating in the state.

Kubota Manufacturing of America Corp., Yamaha Motor Mfg. Corp. of America, Ricoh Electronics, Makita Corp. of America, Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing Inc. and Mizuno USA – all of which work with Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) to access the benefits of the FTZ program – employ more than 6,000 people in the state.

GFTZ and state leaders want Japanese firms to thrive after they plant their flags in Georgia soil. By encouraging more global businesses to seize the benefits of the FTZ program, we are helping to secure the state’s economy against potential downturns by keeping America competitive. And, at the same time, Japanese officials are helping Japanese businesses secure a competitive edge that could save them millions of dollars annually.

The savings that businesses realize come through deferred, delayed or eliminated tariffs and fees, supply chain optimization through direct delivery and a hard cap on otherwise expensive merchandise processing fees normally paid on each bill of lading received. See more on the program in an earlier commentary

All told, more than $10 billion in merchandise moves in and out of our zone every year, helping to make Georgia a hub for global trade and strengthening local economies with jobs and untold millions of dollars every year in business for local firms that support global operations.

As businesses start to realize savings from the FTZ program they are better able to make capital investments and spend on logistics. And as they grow, so too does public spending on rail, highway, port and utility infrastructure to support the movement of people and goods. Each of those projects are job creators, too.

When a business joins the FTZ program, it tells employees and local communities that it is acting responsibly by reducing its costs and doing everything possible to find a competitive edge. It is seemingly engrained in the business culture of Japanese firms to place a special emphasis on these two priorities, which is part of the reason so many Japanese businesses are thriving in our state.

Over the past 40 years, Georgia has become the undisputed center of Japanese industry in the Southeast. We look forward to celebrating this and supercharging our relationship by helping to make the Georgia-Japan relationship even stronger by supporting the operations and bottom lines of businesses across the state and in every plausible industry.

Julie Brown is the President and CEO of Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone, which administers FTZ #26, a service area that covers parts of 60-plus counties within 60 miles or a 90 minute drive from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.


Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone’s Julie Brown Addresses SelectUSA Investment Summit On FTZ Program Features & Benefits

ATLANTA, June 25, 2019 – Earlier this month, Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) President and CEO Julie Brown delivered remarks on the value and importance of the U.S. Foreign Trade Zone program at the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC. It is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s premier event promoting business investment into the United States. More than 3,000 business leaders and investors from more than 60 countries attended the Summit.

“People come to the SelectUSA Investment Summit to learn about policy, make connections and start business relationships. Helping to educate this audience about the foreign-trade zone program’s features and how it increases efficiencies and reduces costs was a great opportunity. I’m always excited to talk with decision makers about the FTZ program because it’s such an obvious way to strengthen a business that relies on a global supply chain,” said Brown.

Brown’s remarks were delivered as part of a discussion on the American Customs Process. She was joined by Shane Williams, Director of Economic Development with the Port of Houston Authority, Geoffery Powell, Chairman of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association and President of the C.H. Powell Company, and Ronald Oleynik, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP. Valerie Neuhart of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security served as the moderator.

“Julie being invited to Washington by the government to speak about the foreign-trade zone program is of no surprise to anyone who has had the opportunity to work with her,” said GFTZ Board Chairman Joe Bankoff. “Ours is one of the largest and most successful foreign-trade zones in the country. More than 10,000 Georgians work every day in companies that use the program. And that’s in large part due to her expertise and ability to marshal the resources and connections that business leaders need to be successful.”

About Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone
Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) is a private non-profit corporation that serves as the federally appointed grantee with administrative responsibilities over Foreign-Trade Zone #26, serving the majority of Georgia. GFTZ is dedicated to fostering economic growth in Georgia and the U.S. through the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone program. For more information visit www.georgiaftz.com.


Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone’s Julie Brown Named One of “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend Magazine

ATLANTA, January 10, 2019 – Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) today recognized President & CEO Julie Brown for being recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend magazine. The list is intended to “represent the best qualities of leadership, power, character and influence the state has to offer.” Brown, who is also a founding member of the board of directors of the World Free Zones Organization, has previously been recognized on the magazine’s list of “Notable Georgians.”

More Georgia businesses are using the foreign-trade zone program today than ever before. Under her leadership, the number of people employed by companies that make use of the program’s benefits with GFTZ’s service area has soared to more than 9,000 people. Additionally, GFTZ has also been awarded the “Top Free Zones Award” by Site Selection magazine for the past two years.

“The most important aspect of this honor is the recognition of the value and the importance of the foreign-trade zone program to our state,” said Brown. “From supply chain professionals to chief financial officers of companies both large and small, word is spreading about GFTZ and how we are helping businesses save time, save money and strengthen their ties to our community. With each passing year we are doing more to support job growth, wage growth and productivity. I’m  grateful for this recognition and excited about the continued growth of the FTZ program in Georgia.”

About Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone

Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) is a private non-profit corporation that serves as the federally appointed grantee with administrative responsibilities over Foreign-Trade Zone #26, serving the majority of Georgia. GFTZ is dedicated to fostering economic growth in Georgia and the U.S. through the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone program. For more information visit www.georgiaftz.com.


Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone Recognized as Top Zone in U.S. for Second Consecutive Year

ATLANTA, November 8, 2018 – Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) announced today that it was awarded the “Top Free Zones Award” by Site Selection magazine for the second consecutive year. GFTZ, which is consistently increasing its client base, was chosen for this recognition following a confidential global survey of more than 1,000 supply chain executives and site selection consultants.

“This recognition is particularly gratifying because of the professionals involved in the selection process. GFTZ and its board of directors works extremely hard to grow the foreign-trade zone program in Georgia by finding ways to bring additional value,” said President and CEO Julie Brown. “Our national network of leading trade experts helps to keep the businesses in our community well-informed on shifts in trade policy with insights and recommendations on how to maximize their savings and efficiencies. It’s our goal to be the best partner that our clients have to optimize the receipt of merchandise from a global supply chain.”

“The businesses that we work with are leaders in our state’s economy and the FTZ program is a key ingredient in their success. By reducing the cost of doing business for job creators in our economy we’re supporting job growth, wage growth and productivity. This is an important program and I’m proud of the work that we’re doing to keep Georgia moving,” said GFTZ Board Chairman Joe Bankoff.

Site Selection’s survey respondents voted on the top foreign-trade zones based on proven track record of success with investors; ease-of-access to necessary information; assistance to current and prospective investors; knowledgeable staff; professionality of communications; ability to cater to customers who speak different languages; and the quality of their web presence.

About Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone

Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) is a private non-profit corporation that serves as the federally appointed grantee with administrative responsibilities over Foreign-Trade Zone #26, serving the majority of Georgia. GFTZ is dedicated to fostering economic growth in Georgia and the U.S. through the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone program. For more information visit www.georgiaftz.com.

About Site Selection

Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Data Inc., delivers expansion planning information to 48,000 executives of fast-growing firms. The senior publication in the development field, Site Selection is also available via Site Selection Online. The publication also publishes or co-publishes e-newsletters, including The Site Selection Dispatch, Life Sciences Report, Aerospace Report and Energy Report; Site Selection International; The FDI Report; Trust Belt.com and the OnSITE Travel blog.


Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone Participates in New WFZO Sentiment Indicator on Economic Activity

ATLANTA, July 9, 2018 – Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone, as a member of the World Free Zones Organization (WFZO), recently submitted information on the composition, activity and employment of FTZ #26 in support of the Free Zones World Economic Barometer (F-WEB), a quarterly sentiment indicator designed to gauge current momentum and future trends of economic activity in free zones worldwide. The WFZO produces the indicator in cooperation with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

The results of the Q2 indicator, conducted in the second half of June, suggest that activity in the free zones remains on a firmly increasing trend. 56 percent of surveyed free zones describe their current economic situation as good, compared to only 2 percent reporting poor conditions. This results in an F-WEB indicator of current economic situation of 54, up from 46 in the previous quarter. Expectations for economic conditions in three month time remain even more optimistic, with the F-WEB indicator of the expected economic situation up to 64 from 62 in Q1.

Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone President and CEO Julie Brown said that F-WEB is an important tool to help policymakers understand how business leaders engaged in global trade view the current and future environment.

“Trade regulations, economic conditions and monetary policy are just a few of the factors that weigh on these business leaders,” Brown said. “The WFZO’s initiative can help policymakers understand how the individuals who facilitate global trade view the current and future environment. I’m hopeful that more zones will participate in future surveys.”

Brown also serves on the Board of Directors of the WFZO and was recently appointed to the position of Secretary at the 4th Annual International Conference & Exhibition in Dubai. 

About Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone

Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) is a private non-profit corporation that serves as the federally appointed grantee with administrative responsibilities over Foreign-Trade Zone #26, the largest FTZ in Georgia. GFTZ is dedicated to fostering economic growth in Georgia and the U.S. through the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone program. For more information visit www.georgiaftz.com.


Greg Wright Appointed to Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone Board of Directors

Greg Wright

ATLANTA, June 6, 2018 – Today the Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone Board of Directors welcomed Greg Wright, Senior Director of Community & Economic Development for Coweta-Fayette EMC, as its newest member. Wright was selected to serve as representative of the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA). The announcement was made by Board Chairman Brian McGowan, President and CEO of the Atlanta BeltLine.

“Greg brings a tremendous record of accomplishment to Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone,” McGowan said. “He joins a strong and dynamic Board at a critical time. We are excited to have the benefit of his network and expertise as we work to grow the FTZ program.”

Wright’s career has included seven years as president of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, three years as a regional manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and eight years as president of the Coweta County Development Authority. Under his leadership, the Development Authority helped Coweta County secure more than $800 million in new business investments and 3,400 new jobs.

“Georgia businesses are stronger when they participate in the FTZ program. They’re more likely to remain in Georgia and create new jobs,” Wright said. “The largest employer in Coweta County is Yamaha Motor Manufacturing, which is not coincidentally one of longest-tenured businesses in the FTZ program in our region. I’m looking forward to helping more companies across the state enjoy all of the benefits that are available to them,” Wright said.

Wright is a past chairman of both the GEDA and the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Before starting his career in economic development, Wright served as legislative director for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and as a state director for former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

About Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone

Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) is a private non-profit corporation that serves as the federally appointed grantee with administrative responsibilities over Foreign-Trade Zone #26, the largest FTZ in Georgia. GFTZ is dedicated to fostering economic growth in Georgia and the U.S. through the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone program. For more information visit www.georgiaftz.com.


Gerald McDowell Appointed to Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone Board of Directors

ATLANTA, March 14, 2018 – Gerald McDowell, Executive Director of the Aerotropolis Atlanta Community Improvement Districts (CIDs), was introduced today as a member of the Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone’s Board of Directors at their quarterly meeting. McDowell was selected to serve as representative of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce by its President and CEO, Chris Clark. Board Chairman Brian McGowan, President and CEO of the Atlanta BeltLine, made the announcement.

“Gerald’s expertise in leading global businesses and his strong connections to business and community leaders will quickly prove to be of strategic importance to Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone,” McGowan said. “The Georgia Chamber designated an individual with strong credentials and we are very glad to welcome him.”

“Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone is helping businesses in our state remain competitive. The foreign-trade zone program protects jobs in our country and promotes economic growth across our economy. The Georgia Chamber and GFTZ are highly regarded organizations and it is an honor to join this esteemed board,” McDowell said.

McDowell has led the Aerotropolis CIDs since 2015 and under his leadership it has secured more than $50 million in grants and project funding. Prior to his work with the Aerotropolis CIDs, he led The JILAS Company as its President and CEO, overseeing its expansion into emerging markets in Central and South America and the Caribbean. In addition to GFTZ, McDowell also serves the boards of directors for the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance, Council for Quality Growth, New Life Community Center, and the Global Center for Teaching, Learning and Development.

The Georgia Chamber helped to establish the first foreign-trade zone in Georgia in 1976 and has held a seat on the Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone’s Board of Directors since its establishment. Reflecting on more than four decades of partnership, Clark noted that “there are more Georgians employed by businesses in the FTZ program than ever before and this is in no small part due to GFTZ’s leadership. It’s one of the top-rated FTZ in the United States. We’re proud to have Gerald represent us and look forward to supporting their efforts to strengthen our economy.”

About Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone

Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) is a private non-profit corporation that serves as the federally appointed grantee with administrative responsibilities over Foreign-Trade Zone #26, the largest FTZ in Georgia. GFTZ is dedicated to fostering economic growth in Georgia and the U.S. through the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone program. For more information visit www.georgiaftz.com.


Hartsfield-Jackson World’s Busiest Airport for 20th Straight Year

For the third straight year, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport served more than 100 million passengers. Trade group Airports International is expected to confirm Hartsfield-Jackson as the world’s busiest in 2017.

“Hartsfield-Jackson successfully combines efficiency and passenger volume in a way that ensures ATL retains its position as the aviation industry’s leader,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. “That worldwide leadership role enables the airport to maintain its status as the economic engine of the Southeast.”

Link: https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2018/01/30/hartsfield-jackson-worlds-busiest-airport-for-20th.html


Groundbreaking Set for Georgia Port’s Mason Mega-Rail Project

The Georgia Port’s authority announced a $5.8 million budget increase to incorporate American-made parts for the port’s Mason Mega Rail project. The project will connect two rail yards to the Garden City Terminal. At its completion, the mega rail project will double on-dock rail capacity and open service to inland markets, including Chicago.

Link: http://businessinsavannah.com/bis/2018-01-23/groundbreaking-set-georgia-port-s-mason-mega-rail-project