Preamble: The U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone Board defines a Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) as a physical area within the United States that, for customs purposes, is treated as if it is outside U.S. borders. 

FTZs offer a flexible, streamlined, profitable approach to the movement of goods and services that will encourage Canadian businesses to take advantage of manufacturing, storage, distribution, value‑added, domestic and re-export trade opportunities. An effective and efficient FTZ program will ultimately increase Canada’s competitiveness in the global supply chain. 

Resolution: That the Federal Government:

a) Use the nomenclature Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) in creating a program that restructures and fully integrates current FTZ-like programs into a single program with one federal  point of contact for potential users;

b) Reduce or remove the restrictions on the amount of added value activity that can occur in a FTZ;

c) Allow companies that sell a significant proportion of their production within Canada to participate in the FTZ program;

d) Allow the deferral of GST/HST throughout all components of the FTZ program; and

e) Promote and market the FTZ program effectively in domestic and foreign markets. 

Resolution Report:  

The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce produces Resolution reports as part of its commitment to be accountable to its members. The reports are updated as matters unfold and have two components:

MCC Advocacy: Specific activities the MCC has done to help make this Resolution a reality. 

Developments:  All other information (e.g. government action, media coverage, reports) that relates to Resolution. 

Advice, comments, and information sharing are welcome; simply enter a reply at the bottom of this post.

MCC Advocacy: 

May 15, 2011: The 2011-2012 Resolutions were posted on the MCC website, listed as part of a comprehensive Report on AGM 2011 and then notice of this story was circulated through a news release as well as in an MCC E-Update which is sent to all MCC members, Media and Government.

June 22, 2011: Resolution books were sent to every MLA and every Member of Parliament that hails from Manitoba. The following had this Resolution specifically drawn to their attention with a detailed letter setting out the background to this issue, Government initiatives (where applicable), and an argument for the Resolution:

  • The Premier 
  • The AffairsMinister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade
  • The Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Developments:

July 18, 2011:  The Honourable Peter Bjornson; Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade; wrote to the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce on this issue.Here is his response: 

The Honourable Peter Bjornson

On the subject of Foreign Trade Zones, Manitoba supports efforts which will augment CentrePort Canada’s competitive advantages as a logistics hub and part of the global supply chain. To that end, Manitoba stands behind CenrePort Canada’s efforts to have Canada’s Foreign Trade Zone-like programs evaluated and revised if deemed appropriate by the Government of Canada. Through Budget 20-11, the Federal Government has committed to examining these programs and ensuring that they are internationally competitive, efficiently administered and effectively marketed.