ST. JOHNSBURY — The Northeast Kingdom has been granted a special foreign trade zone designation that backers hope will drive more economic development for the region.
The designation is expected to benefit two foreign companies planning to set up shop in Newport as part of a regional economic development initiative, AnC Bio Vermont and Menck Window Systems, which are expected to create hundreds of jobs in Newport, but other companies in the region could also benefit.
Other companies anywhere in the region that import materials for local production could qualify for breaks on tariffs and taxes in the foreign trade zone. For example, they would be able to import materials, assemble the products and then ship them out of the country again, said David Snedeker of the Northeastern Vermont Development Association.
“It’s like it never came into the country,” Snedeker said.
The designation is intended to expedite and encourage foreign commerce.
Newport Mayor Paul Monette said he’s pleased.
“It is another economic tool which will help attract and maintain businesses in the Northeast Kingdom,” Monette said.
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