County Supervisors Want Deal with LA Ports

Deal would allow Riverside County exports to get overseas quicker

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors today approved making formal arrangements with the Port of Los Angeles to handle more county-made and grown manufacturing and agricultural products bound for foreign

"We have doubled our exports (in the last five years),'' said board
Chairman John Tavaglione.  "Our manufacturers here are opening other avenues
through trade agreements. ... That's resulted in (more) containers leaving the
Port of L.A., going to other parts of the world.''

The supervisors voted unanimously to authorize the county's Economic
Development Agency to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the port that would ensure that future county-originating exports flow freely through the harbor.

"Having a partnership with the Port of Los Angeles will be of great
benefit to our business community, our county and the Port of Los Angeles,''
Tavaglione said.

Specifics about what the MOU will entail were not explicit. But according to county Foreign Trade Commissioner Tom Freeman, the compact would
pave the way for additional agreements on an as-needed basis to facilitate
county goods.

The county has four tax-advantaged Foreign Trade Zones, as well as
programs that provide expedited visa processing for investor immigrants and
loans through the Export-Import Bank.

According to Freeman, 25,000 local jobs are directly tied to the
regional export market, which is valued at around $11.5 billion annually.


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