Kelo - The Rest of the Story

December 10, 2006


Foreign Trade Zones  -

Subzones - special purpose zones within FTZ zones
Intermodal Commerce zones  
Apparently, application is made to the 'Foreign Trade Zones Board' (see below) for zone designation.  The zones have a 'private board' that chooses who can locate within the zone.  The Foreign Trade Zone is designated for a class of businesses but they can request designations of subzones within the FTZ for specific purposes.  In other words, the Board of a zone can put anything they want in a FTZ as long as the U.S. Dept of Commerce grants the subzone status. 
The businesses within the zones are highly privileged and receive a myriad of benefits from elimination tariffs and taxes to preferences on government contracts.  Businesses outside the privileged zones are competing at a significant disadvantage to businesses within the zones

After looking at this, I have to say that I can't think of anything more un-American than these zones.  It appears that they are turning our entire country - a piece at a time into 'foreign zones'.   It makes me wonder if Washington DC was designated a 'foreign trade zone' which makes it foreign soil run by foreigners the applicant of the zone.  (Correction 1/11/2011) - but what happened with the KC Smart Port is that the manager of the zone signed an agreement with Mexican officials to locate a Mexican customs office in the KC FTZ and a Mexican customs office - would be for all intents and purposes - Mexican soil.  Reference ). 


And that feeling was amplified when I saw FTZ 208 on the list: 

208A Pfizer, Inc.

FTZ No. 208 New London
Grantee: New London Foreign Trade Zone Commission
111 Union Street, New London, CT 06320
Ned Hammond (860) 447-5203

Annual Report:

It makes me think that there was a whole lot more to the Kelo vs New London case than we were led to believe. My guess would be that the "Foreign Trade Zone Board" (whoever the hell they are) created a Foreign Trade Zone in that area and gave Phizer the franchise. Because of the FTZ designation, it was really out of the hands of New London CT. So why didn't New London fight the designation (check their bank accounts and assets before and after)? Maybe it had something to do with New London being on the hit list during the last BRAC round of military facility closings? What I wonder was why the attorney representing the property owners in New London was fighting the city when he should have been challenging the 'Foreign Trade Zone' law.

According to this protest website that was created during the Kelo vs New London battle, "Phizer has already gotten 24 acres of prime waterfront land for $10. They were given a ten year 80% reduction in city real-estate taxes and $3,000,000/year reduction in sales taxes related to construction costs."

I found another organization promoting FTZ's. It's called NAFTZ.

It occurs to me that the U.S. Dept of Commerce could have designated the entire route for the Trans-Texas Corridor and the CANAMEX as 'Foreign Trade Zones'   and put them under the control of a private board - like NASCO.    If that's the case, and people try to fight to save their property based on eminent domain laws, they will lose because the designation of FTZ effectively creates a 'foreign island' on U.S. soil.   I'm not an attorney but it seems to me that when a challenge is made, you have to direct the challenge to the source of the problem and not just a peripheral part of it.
History of FTZ's
John J. Da Pont
Remarks for the NAFTZ 25th Annual
Wrapping up  - consider this:

We have a 'Board' establishing foreign territory within the boundaries of the United States.

We have a 'Board' reviewing the sale of U.S. assets to foreigners without regard for national security (Remember Dubai?)

We have George H.W. Bush signing Executive Order 12803 ordering the sell-off of U.S. assets


Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) was authorized to review sales of U.S. assets to foreign entities
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency committee chaired by the Department of Treasury, was authorized through the Exon-Florio Amendment to the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act (1988) to review and potentially block foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies that threaten to impair U.S. national security. Exon-Florio was not adopted to halt or slow foreign investment; rather, the Amendment solely focused on those transactions that implicate U.S. national security interests. "National security" was deliberately left undefined as to allow for the greatest presidential control and discretion when determining whether to block a transaction.
CFIUS includes the following 12 members: the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, Secretaries of Treasury (Chair), State, Defense, Homeland Security and Commerce, the Attorney General, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.



George H.W. Bush signed Executive Order 12803 calling for the sell off of U.S. infrastructure assets.  This Executive Order was posted in only two places that the research could find.  One was on the website of the trade association for the U.S. Water Industry [6]- no doubt because they plan to use the WTO trade agreements to try and force the sale of U.S. water supplies, systems and natural resources.  The other website was Cornell University [7].  It's also posted here because Executive Order 12803 should be widely known especially after the Dubai  Port debacle.