On March 14, 2014, ASO made a submission to the FTZ Board that included new evidence in response to the examiner's preliminary recommendation not to approve the requested expansion of FTZ production authority. Public comment is invited on ASO's new submission through April 28, 2014. Rebuttal comments may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period, until May 12, 2014. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at: Foreign-Trade Zones Board, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 21013, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230.
The ASO facility (270 employees, 31 acres/150,000 square feet) is located within Subzone 169A, in Sarasota, Florida. The facility is used for the production of plastic and textile fabric adhesive bandages. ASO is also proposing to coat foreign uncoated textile fabric under FTZ procedures. Production under FTZ procedures could exempt ASO from customs duty payments on the foreign textile fabrics used in export production. The company anticipates that some four percent of the plant's shipments will be exported. On its domestic sales, ASO would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to textile fabric adhesive bandages (duty-free) for the foreign inputs noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign status production equipment. The request indicates that the savings from FTZ procedures would help improve the plant's international competitiveness.
Uncoated textile fabrics sourced from abroad (representing some 22% of the value of the finished product) include the following: 100% polyester, 100% cotton dyed plain weave, and 62% cotton/38% polyester plain weave (duty rates range from 7 to 12%).