The U.S. Department of Commerce has approved a foreign trade zone for nine communities in the Phoenix, AZ area.
Economic development officials say large companies often look for foreign trade zones when seeking to relocate. Companies in foreign trade zones are able to import and export parts and products while reducing or eliminating customs duties and various taxes.
The federal agency approved the FTZ designation for the entire West Valley from the Phoenix limits, according to Jack Lunsford, president and chief executive of Westmarc, the West Valley business coalition.
Lunsford also heads the Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone Inc., which will administer the zone. City leaders in the Phoenix area say the designation will be a boon to economic development efforts.