COLUMN: Legislation expands Foreign Trade Zone to create jobs, investment in CNY

— I was pleased to co-sponsor legislation that aims to draw more businesses to Central New York. In March, the Assembly unanimously passed legislation that will expand the Foreign Trade Zone. The Senate also passed this bill and it awaits the Governor’s review. The legislation would expand the Foreign Trade Zone, established at Syracuse Hancock International Airport, to include Oswego, Cayuga and Madison counties.

This legislation aims to incentivize international trade and create jobs and investment here, rather than abroad. In certain cases, there are tariffs (tax on imports or exports) that penalize companies for making their product in the United States. Foreign Trade Zones aim to eliminate some of these tariffs and provide advantages to domestic manufacturers.

I am hopeful the Governor signs this legislation into law. It would broaden possibilities for more manufacturers to locate to our area and strengthen our region as we seek to add jobs to the local economy. When companies consider sites to expand or relocate, they have to consider the cost of everything, not the least of which are taxes. A Foreign Trade Zone would provide our region with an advantage. Expanding such zones would be an asset to our region moving forward in our global economy.

Infrastructure investment

I wanted to point out another part of the budget that recently passed the State Legislature and has been signed by the Governor. This budget created the NY Works program, which invests $247 million in state capital funds and $917 million in new federal funds to accelerate repair, replacement and improvement of our roads and bridges. Last week it was announced that Central New York would see nearly $30 million investment for 25 NY Works projects. This is good news for our region and I am pleased we were able to invest in our infrastructure this budget season.

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