Feds Approve St. Lawrence County Foreign Trade Zone

Patty Ritchie

February 03, 2012

Will Be A Boon To Efforts To Bring New Jobs, Businesses To Area

State Senator Patty Ritchie and Joseph Griffo have announced the federal government has approved their effort to attract new businesses and jobs by expanding Ogdensburg’s Foreign Trade Zone to all of St. Lawrence County.

The U.S. Foreign Trade Zone Board has notified local officials that the plan that they sponsored in legislation to expand the Ogdensburg Foreign Trade Zone had been approved by the U.S. Foreign Trade Zone Administrative Board.

“I am very pleased that my effort to help bring new jobs to the St. Lawrence County has been approved on the federal level. This will give our region an advantage when competing with other communities in Canada and across the US for manufacturing and other jobs, and can mean more work for St. Lawrence County and Northern New York families,” Senator Ritchie said. “By expanding the existing foreign trade zone to include all of St. Lawrence County, we can encourage more manufacturers and other businesses to come to Northern New York.”

“In the past, the zone has helped attract hi-tech companies to locate here, and this expansion can help convince U.S. and foreign companies to consider investing and creating new jobs in communities across the county,” Sen. Joseph Griffo said. “This will help us show that New York State is open for business. It will allow the people at our great universities and colleges in St. Lawrence County to use their technological know how to help grow new businesses. I was pleased to work with Senator Ritchie to get this long overdue law passed.

The measure will allow firms from around the world to ship merchandise into any business in St. Lawrence County and exempt it from taxes and duty until it is made into finished products or shipped to its final destination.

The effort to expand the Ogdensburg zone had languished in the legislature until last year when Ritchie and Griffo cosponsored the effort in the State Senate.

“The new Zone tool can be utilized by existing companies in St. Lawrence County and will be used to attract new companies to the region,” said John A. Rishe, Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Director of Commercial & Industrial Development. 

“Use of the new Zone tool will ultimately create more new jobs in the region” said Wade A. Davis, the Authority’s Executive Director. “We look forward to using it for the benefit of North Country firms.”

Senator Ritchie and Griffo’s bill to expand Ogdensburg’s foreign trade zone to include all of St. Lawrence County (S.5225) was passed by the legislature last year and signed by the governor.

The bill was sponsored in the Assembly by Assembly Member Addie Russell.