Lufkin seeking Foreign Trade Zone designation in effort to attract new businesses

Lufkin seeking Foreign Trade Zone designation in effort to attract new businesses

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The City of Lufkin has submitted their name for a Foreign Trade Zone designation.

Businesses who operate internationally could be getting a tax break if the zone is approved.

“It’s to help our existing businesses that can utilize the exemption and to attract new businesses,” said Bob Samford, the city’s economic development director.

“When you bring in goods from overseas, they’re subject to an import tariff,” Samford said. “If we have the designation they could bring those goods into the designated area in a, in a designated location and they would be duty-free.”

With the use of the FTZ, area businesses could use their imported products, without the imposed federal tax and in turn manufacture, assemble and ship out their goods to other companies across the nation.

“It just gives another option to offer to businesses that are located or trying to locate in Texas, Lufkin specifically and foreign investors,” Samford said.

Lufkin branch manager Rocky Thigpen with Overseas Hardwood said having the designation zone is a tax break advantage.

“I think the biggest advantage for an economic development side is it just gives another tool to for the City of Lufkin and Angelina County to use that we have a foreign trade zone that might interest somebody that if we didn’t have it, it might not,” Thigpen said.

Although, Overseas Hardwood’s operation is moving into the county, the City of Lufkin' goal is to get the qualifications in for within its boundaries and then options to expand in the future.

Samford said the application is currently under review and open to public comment. It could take anywhere from 6 to 12 months for an answer from the foreign trade zone board if the city qualifies.

If approved, Lufkin would join the 32 other locations in Texas.

Elected officials supporting the application say it would create job opportunities.

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