The Impact of FTZ #176

Illinois on top for foreign trade zone activity during 2015.

Greater_Rockford_Airport_Authority - Impact of FTZ #176Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #176, for which the Greater Rockford Airport Authority is the grantee, received more than $100 million in merchandise and exported more than $10 million of product, according to the Foreign Trade Zone Board’s recently submitted 2015 Annual Report to Congress. Zone activity increased over 2014 figures, largely due to growth in number of companies utilizing FTZ #176.

Nationwide activity in foreign trade zones decreased in 2015 to nearly $660 billion in merchandise received and $84 billion in exports. Much of the decrease is attributed to declines in the oil/petroleum industry, which accounts for over 11 percent of all foreign trade zone activity.

FTZ #176 is one of eight foreign trade zones in Illinois.  Illinois ranked ninth in the country for merchandise received and fourteenth for the amount of exports in 2015, making it the top overall Midwest state for foreign trade zone activity.

Foreign trade zones are areas considered outside of U.S. Customs territory. Companies that engage in international trade and that use the foreign trade zone can benefit from preferential tax treatment and streamlined customs procedures. Foreign trade zones support U.S. competitiveness in a global economy and support increased exports and jobs.  FTZ #176 operators supported over 2000 jobs in 2015.

“The FTZ Board’s Annual Report to Congress re-affirms the value that foreign trade zones have to companies in the United States. The increased activity in FTZ #176 reflects Northern Illinois’ competitive advantage in logistics and strength in industry sectors utilizing the zone,” remarks Karl Franzen, FTZ #176 Administrator. “I expect increased activity within FTZ #176 to continue.”

FTZ#176 features a streamlined application process and no-cost confidential feasibility studies for businesses to assess the specific benefits and cost savings. To determine if the FTZ program is right for your company, contact your local economic development organization.

Download the Annual Report of the Foreign Trade Zones Board to the Congress of the United States.


Foreign Trade Zone #176 (FTZ #176), Greater Rockford Airport Authority, Grantee, surrounds the Port of Rockford and is administered by the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC). Established in 1993, FTZ #176 comprises of 11 activated sites and subzones, located throughout Boone, Bureau, DeKalb, Kane, La Salle, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties, IL. Foreign trade zones attract and promote U.S. participation in international trade and commerce.



The role of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) is to collaborate with regional stakeholders to cultivate opportunities for primary job growth that increase the economic well-being of our region. The RAEDC markets the region to attract new capital investment, while assisting existing business with resources for sustainable growth. The RAEDC works closely with many partners to improve the competitiveness of the region by taking what it learns from the region’s employers and engaging the community in the daily work of economic development. As the economic development organization for the region, the RAEDC also serves as the area’s data collection agency on all new capital investment, retained and created quality jobs, and renovated commercial/industrial space.