Free Trade Zones in the USA
International trade is an essential part of the US commercial landscape; however, the US also has a number of ports and transportation hubs that perform the function of intermediary points of entry. During stay in the territory of the USA, shippers and importers have to pay customs duties for the shipment of goods they transfer. However, the introduction of foreign trade zones has significantly simplified the financial burden of shippers, and has improved the conditions US customs can offer to them, thus attracting larger volumes of importers, and boosting the US economy through promoting a number of commercial activities that would otherwise be fulfilled abroad. According to Hinkelman and Putzi, foreign trade zones (FTZ) are also called free zones, free ports, and bonded warehouses, and they represent specific commercial and industrial areas located in the ports of entry or in close proximity to them; in these areas, storage and sales, as well as repackaging, assemblage, and other manipulations with goods are allowed without the need for shippers to pay the customs duties (81). However, the shippers may also choose among the option of paying the duty on the finished product without paying for its imported parts, or to pay for the imported components (Seyoum and Ramirez 14). Mainly due to the number of benefits they provide for commercial shippers, FTZs in the USA are restricted-access areas under the control of the US Customs and Border Protection (Hinkelman and Putzi 81).