St. Louis city, county seek foreign trade status

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The city of St. Louis is teaming with St. Louis County in pushing to have their region declared a foreign trade zone, partly hoping to lure international air cargo also coveted by a struggling Illinois airport nearby.

The city and county on Monday asked the U.S. government for the duty-free designation they say could attract business to the area, notably if St. Louis' Lambert Airport becomes an air cargo hub with China. KTVI-TV reports that a Chinese delegation is to take a look at Lambert later this month.

If granted, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the designation would mean that any business in the city or county would be able to receive, store, assemble and "re-export" products without paying federal customs duties.

MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in southwestern Illinois also is trying to attract air cargo service to their struggling operation.

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