Serving the citizens of Koochiching County and the cities of Bigfalls, International Falls, Littlefork, Northome, Ranier and surrounding region.
Serving the citizens of Koochiching County and the cities of Bigfalls, International Falls, Littlefork, Northome, Ranier and surrounding region.

Koochiching County Expands Foreign Trade Zone Boundaries

For more information contact:  Paul Nevanen, Director, Koochiching Economic Development Authority (218)283-8585

October 20, 2014 – For immediate release.

The Koochiching Economic Development Authority (KEDA) was notified earlier this month by the Department of Commerce and the Foreign Trade Zones Board that their application to re-organize under the Alternative Site Framework (ASF) was granted.

The re-organization under the ASF will allow the overlay of the FTZ boundary over the entire county rather than the three originally designated magnate sites.  This, according to KEDA Director Paul Nevanen, will grant more flexibility for potential zone users looking to locate in Koochiching County.

“This re-organization will allow us to expand potential zone sites throughout the County giving us – and potential users – more flexibility in siting,“ said Nevanen.

The FTZ Program is a federal program that provides a variety of benefits to companies that locate within the zone – including import duty deferrals, duty reduction, inventory and supply chain efficiencies, and reduction in processing fees.  Minnesota has three FTZs located in Minneapolis, Duluth, and Koochiching County.  The KEDA is the grantee for the Koochiching FTZ which was created in 2003.

“We view the FTZ as another tool in economic development,” Nevanen added.  “Given our central location as an inland port and the tremendous volume of rail and container traffic through our back yard, our hope has been that the FTZ designation will set-us apart to prospective companies looking for competitive locations.”

The Port of Ranier/International Falls is the busiest rail crossing – in terms of the number of trains and containers – in all of North America and a critical part CN Rail’s network from the ports in Western Canada to Chicago.  CN Rail has invested significantly in this network to manage that growth.

“While location is key, we still have to make a business case for a company to locate here.  We’ve been working to raise awareness about the benefits of the FTZ program – hopefully this expansion will result in more opportunities for business and ultimately more investment and job creation in our County,” said Nevanen.