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Panel: County nears use of new trade zone

November 12, 2002

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Members of the Foreign Trade Zone Commission of Washington County told county business leaders recently about work on the county's foreign trade zones.

"We are moving ever closer to begin operating our newly approved Foreign Trade Zones," Greg Larsen, commission chairman said at a breakfast hosted by the Business and Community Development Committee. It is a committee of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

Larsen said a foreign trade zone "operates much like a duty-free island, separated from the tariffs that often apply to international trade. These zones will provide substantial cost savings in taxes for companies that operate within their boundaries.

"The presence of such a zone in Washington County will make our business community more attractive and more competitive when recruiting new companies to the area," Larsen said.

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"It will also be an added benefit for our existing companies that currently import components for their operations."

The U.S. Commerce Department approved seven local tracts as a foreign trade zone in July. The zone is associated with the port of Baltimore as the customs port of entry.

The sites include:

  • 276 acres at Lakeside Corporate Center in Cascade at the former site of the Fort Ritchie military base;

  • 443 acres in the Hagerstown Regional Airport complex;

  • 81 acres at the Hub Industrial Park in Maugansville;

  • 722 acres in the Hunters Green/Hopewell Valley Industrial Complex;

  • 43 acres in the City of Hagerstown Industrial Park;

  • 172 acres in the Interstate Industrial Park complex in Williamsport; and

  • 129 acres in the Mellott Enterprises Industrial Complex in Hancock.


The breakfast meetig included a panel discussion from Foreign Trade Zone Commission members, including Anton Dahbura, Rich Hoban and Tim Troxell.

Also presenting information was attorney Peggy Chaplin, an expert on foreign trade zones, who is providing consulting expertise for the county.

Alan M. Aronovitz, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Lenox Inc., spoke by videotape to the group.

Aronovitz said Lenox will be saving $500,000 by using the Washington County Foreign Trade Zone.

"This is a significant savings for a company, and one big reason why we're very happy to be building our new facility next to I-70 in Washington County."

The "Eggs and Issues" breakfast event, held at The Plaza Hotel, was sponsored by Bowman Development Corp.

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