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Nissan Forklift Became the First Forklift Manufacturer Under the Foreign-Trade Zone’s Program


On September 1, 2006, U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary David Spooner and U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, R-Illinois, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business, visited Nissan Forklift’s Marengo, IL plant. These distinguished visitors were there to celebrate Nissan Forklift’s successful effort to be the first U.S forklift manufacturer to receive a Grant from the Foreign-Trade Zones Board for the authority to manufacture forklifts under Foreign-Trade Zone procedures.

This event was notable in that it opens the door for a new industry sector to lower its Customs-related costs through the Foreign-Trade Zones Program. How does this event benefit the the Marengo area? “by utilizing the FTZ program to level the playing field with its overseas competitors, Nissan Forklift can be more competitive. This results in job retention, and capital investment; and both of these lead to increased economic activity in Marengo as well as providing much needed support to the U.S. manufacturing base,” says Craig Pool, President of the Foreign-Trade Zone Corporation.

“Despite the fact that historically other Forklift Manufacturing applications were not approved by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board, our firm was confident that we could present a case to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board demonstrating that Foreign-Trade Zone subzone status was not only good for Nissan Forklift, but for the U.S. on the whole. After a thorough review of the Nissan Forklift’s case, the FTZ Board agreed that allowing Nissan Forklift to manufacturer in Zone status would offer a substantial public benefit.. Now that the precedent has been set,” says Pool, he expects that other U.S. based forklift manufacturers will seek FTZ status.

Craig Pool is a Senior Consultant with the Foreign-Trade Zone Corporation and serves as the firm’s President. He has worked in the area of Foreign-Trade Zones for 17 years in Zone administration, operations, and consulting. The Foreign-Trade Zone Corporation is a service provider offering FTZ cost-benefit analyses, FTZ Board applications, training, assistance in designing, creating and managing Zone projects, and SmartZone® Foreign-Trade Zone management software.


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