A new report released by the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZs) Board shows a total of 324 active FTZ production operations in 2016.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin issued the report Nov. 16 to the U.S. Congress with statistics on zone activities for 2016. The 165-page report is available for review Here. 

Highlights of the findings of the 2016 report (compared to 2015, where applicable) include the following:

  • There were 264 approved FTZs (up from 262) and 195 active zones (up from 186), with a total of 324 active production operations. More than 420,000 persons were employed at some 3,300 firms that used FTZs (up from 2,900).
  • The FTZ Board approved the creation of two new FTZs, the reorganization or expansion of 16 zones under the alternative site framework (down from 22), and 53 applications and notifications for new or expanded manufacturing authority (down from 54). The Board also processed an additional 192 requests (up from 181) that included minor boundary modifications and scope determinations.
  • Exports from facilities operating under FTZ procedures amounted to $78 billion (down from $84.6 billion). This figure does not include certain indirect exports involving FTZ merchandise that undergoes further processing in the U.S. at non-FTZ sites prior to export.
  • The value of shipments into zones fell from $660 billion to $610 billion, the lowest total since 2010. Of these shipments, 63 percent were used for production operations while about 37 percent went to warehouse and distribution operations.
  • About 63 percent of the shipments received in FTZs ($384.3 billion) involved domestic-status merchandise, indicating that FTZ activity tends to involve domestic operations that combine foreign inputs with significant domestic inputs. This figure is down from $509.7 billion in 2015, and lower than the high of about 80 percent in the mid-1990s.
  • The largest industries accounting for zone production activity remained oil refining, automotive, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and machinery and equipment.
  • The main foreign-origin products received in FTZs for warehousing and distribution operations included vehicles ($27 billion, down from $33.3 billion), consumer electronics ($14.4 billion, up from $11.2 billion), consumer products ($14.3 billion, up from $12.8 billion), electrical machinery ($8.1 billion, down from $11 billion) and oil and petroleum ($6.7 billion, down from $9.7 billion).
  • The main foreign-origin products received in FTZs for production operations included oil and petroleum ($54.5 billion, down from $64.8 billion), vehicle parts ($14.6 billion, up from $13.6 billion), consumer electronics ($13.5 billion, down from $15.9 billion), pharmaceuticals ($8.7 billion, up from $6.4 billion), and machinery and equipment ($6.9 billion, up from $6.1 billion).

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