LETTER: Lost Foreign Trade Zone Status Is Tragedy

April 27, 2015


On October 23, 2012, you published my commentary, Expert Warns Eastern Shore: Special Trade Zone Status Slipping Away. Now it has happened.

As Virginia political leaders decide whether President Obama deserves fast approval powers for two massive trade agreements, the entire Eastern Shore has lost a valuable global trade incentive overlaying properties at Wallops Island (Site 14), Accomack Airport (Site 15), and in Cape Charles (Site 18).

I warned your community this might happen back in 2012. Your specially designated U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone sites are gone. However, the State of Virginia continues to promote to investors and traders an incentive that no longer exists. A Northampton County economic development staffer continues to mislead inquirers that it’s simple to regain designation. It’s not. Your congressional delegation and local elected officials repeat the same misleading information.


For critical thinkers reading this article, click on the following Federal Register Notice links below:

2013 — https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-09696
2014 — https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-05534

Did you notice that between 2013 and 2014, sites 14, 15 and 18 vanished? On October 2,, 2013, they did! And, so did an opportunity to capture some of the billions in global commerce sailing past your shores each year. It’s been hard for your community to keep jobs. It is still.


Michael W. O’Beirne, a private international trade consultant and industrial real estate developer, lives and works in Washington D.C., New York City, and Colorado.  Email [email protected]



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