A quarter of a century after Hamilton MP Tony Valeri first floated the idea, Hamilton has become the third FTZ point announced in Ontario and one of 14 in Canada. That announcement came in a Zoom call with Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages today. The designation will help position the Hamilton area as a hub for international trade. The area will be more attractive to businesses and foreign direct investment by offering a single point of access to resources and information relating to programs that relieve duties, tariffs and taxes for business. Many of Hamilton’s manufacturing companies already are significant players in export markets. In making the announcement Minister Joy paid tribute to the collaboration of executives, Norm Schleehahn of Hamilton Economic Development, Cathie Puckering of John Munro Airport and Ian Hamilton of Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority.
FTZ refers to a specific location within a country that is officially designated for eligibility for tariff and tax exemptions with respect to the purchase or importation of raw materials, components or finished goods.
• The FTZ designation improves access to existing programs, and promotes Canada’s advantage. It allows the region to coordinate to provide programs that benefit businesses, such as the Duty Deferral Program, the Duties Relief Program, the Drawback Program, the Customs Bonded Warehouse Program and the Export Distribution Centre Program.
• Three local partners: the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development department, the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport and the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority, advocated for this designation.
• Hamilton has a manufacturing industry of more than 1,100 businesses, and is a well-positioned in the global advanced manufacturing marketplace.
• HT Productions Inc. (Whitebird) is a family-owned and managed distributor and manufacturer of packaging solutions and supplies for a wide variety of clients in the food service, defence, e-commerce and healthcare industries.In the face of COVID-19, Whitebird has contributed to Canada’s response efforts by repurposing its die-cutter to produce 100,000 face shields daily for major Ontario hospitals.
• Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested in 51 projects in the Hamilton region, totaling over $27.3 million in commitments for southern Ontario.
“The Foreign Trade Zone designation will build on Hamilton’s momentum as a goods movement leader and key trade gateway. The port and our partners are proud to help Canadian businesses expand into new markets, grow our economy, and generate well-paying jobs,” said Ian Hamilton, President & CEO, HOPA Ports
Noted Cathie Puckering, President & CEO, Hamilton International Airport, “Hamilton’s designation as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) point brings Hamilton International Airport another step closer to realizing its vision to be recognized by the world as the best global gateway in Canada for affordable travel and goods movement.”
This important designation offers Hamilton businesses direct contact, front of the line service to dedicated individuals to assist with trade inquiries/requirements. This greatly benefits our local companies in their efforts to move their products across the globe more efficiently and bolster the various supply chains across many industries.” Norm Schleehahn, Director of Economic Development, City of Hamilton