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During 2021 there were 197 active Free Trade Zones in the United States, with a total of 356 active production operations, according to Commerce Department data. More than 480,000 people were employed in 1,200 active FTZ operations during that year.
Also, the value of shipments to the zones totaled more than $835 billion, up from nearly $625 billion the previous year. About 65% of the shipments received in the zones were domestic status merchandise.
The levels of domestic status merchandise used by FTZ operations (77% for production operations and 49% for warehousing/distribution operations) indicate that FTZ activity tends to involve domestic operations that include significant domestic inputs along with foreign inputs.
At the same time, warehousing/distribution operations received over $369 billion in goods, while production operations received over $465 billion (56% of zone activity). The most important sectors of production activity in the zone are: pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, automotive, electronics, and machinery/equipment.
Exports from facilities operating under free trade zone procedures amounted to more than US$123 billion.
To consider: export figures do not include certain indirect exports involving FTZ goods that undergo further processing in the United States at non-Free Trade Zone facilities prior to export.