Export Processing Zones

Foreign free trade zones can be extremely useful to companies both importing from and exporting to the US as well as other industrialized nations. They are zones where no duty will need to be paid unless the international shipping cargo is staying in that country for good. Export processing zones are types of free trade zones that can sometimes take it one step further. While they are considered free trade zones, they are also zones that allow for more flexibility in international shipping and can have exemptions from some of the taxes and regulations that are normally imposed. They are usually a stop for imported goods where additional processing is needed but eventually they will be exported to another country. Many of these zones can be found in developing countries where the governments have set up these additional benefits to keep businesses in their own country in on the flow of goods. Since the governments are bidding for foreign investors to use factories in their country as the stop off, they will many times forgo regulations that would usually deter those investors. This may include workers rights and protections as well as environmental protections which is why various human rights and special interest groups are against this type of free trade zone. It is also for this reason that some people would say this is a replacement for sweatshops and other unfavorable types of factories. While export processing zones have become a topic of concern, they are also an increasingly important part of international cargo shipping and international trade.