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TWO A.V. CITIES AT ODDS; LANCASTER WANTS OWN FOREIGN-TRADE-ZONE STATUS.

Byline: Jim Skeen Staff Writer

Going into 1999, the mayors of Lancaster and Palmdale were optimistic the two cities could reach an agreement to bring foreign trade zone benefits to the northern end of the Antelope Valley This article is about the Los Angeles County region. For the census-designated place in Wyoming, see Antelope Valley-Crestview, Wyoming.

The Antelope Valley
.

Nine months later, the cities still are at odds over Lancaster's application for a separate foreign trade zone and the chances the debate will be resolved anytime soon are remote.

``It's going to drag on Verb 1. drag on - last unnecessarily long
drag out

last, endure - persist for a specified period of time; "The bad weather lasted for three days"

2.
 for many more months,'' Lancaster Mayor Frank Roberts Frank Roberts may refer to:
  • Frank Roberts (diplomat) (1907-1998), British diplomat
  • Frank Roberts (footballer) (born 1893), English footballer
  • Frank Crowther Roberts (1891-1982), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
See also
 said last week.

Palmdale officials say they have a plan that can work for both cities, but that Lancaster refuses to cooperate.

``We put together a compromise we thought everyone could live with,'' said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. ``It was basically rebuffed.''

Foreign trade zones are used as incentives to attract businesses by reducing or eliminating custom duties on imported parts the businesses can then assemble into a finished product.

The two cities have been at odds over Lancaster's application for a separate foreign trade zone designation, with Palmdale officials saying their northern neighbor should have gone through them to expand the existing zone.

The extent of the disagreement became apparent last August during a public hearing in which Lancaster officials said they had no confidence in Palmdale's handling of the foreign trade zone, comparing the situation to that of a parent abusing a child.

Lancaster applied to have 3,200 acres designated as a foreign trade zone, including 3,040 acres on and south of Edwards Air Force Base Edwards Air Force Base, U.S. military installation, 301,000 acres (121,805 hectares), S Calif., NE of Lancaster; est. 1933. It is one of the largest air force bases in the United States and has the world's longest runway. . Lancaster is pitching that area as the launch site for VentureStar, a reusable spaceship Lockheed Martin For the former company, see .

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a leading multinational aerospace manufacturer and advanced technology company formed in 1995 by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta.
 Skunk skunk, name for several related New World mammals of the weasel family, characterized by their conspicuous black and white markings and use of a strong, highly offensive odor for defense.  Works is developing.

About 160 acres cited in the Lancaster application is for the Lancaster Business Park.

Palmdale has 1,315 acres at nine sites designed as a foreign trade zone. Palmdale received its designation in 1992.

A major sticking point sticking point
n.
A point, issue, or situation that causes or is likely to cause an impasse.

Noun 1. sticking point - a point at which an impasse arises in progress toward an agreement or a goal
 is the issue of confidentiality during negotiations with prospective businesses that might want to relocate into the foreign trade zone. Lancaster officials say they do not want a process that involves bringing in Palmdale representatives.

Palmdale officials have proposed using Marshall Miller, Palmdale's foreign trade zone counsel, as a third party to handle zone activation and expansion requests. An attorney would be bound by the principles of attorney-client privilege In the law of evidence, a client's privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, confidential communications between the client and his or her attorney.  from disclosing confidential information Noun 1. confidential information - an indication of potential opportunity; "he got a tip on the stock market"; "a good lead for a job"
steer, tip, wind, hint, lead
 to another city.

Lancaster officials disagree, saying Miller is too closely tied to Palmdale.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Commerce's Foreign Trade Zones Board told Lancaster they don't see confidentiality as a stumbling block stumĀ·bling block
n.
An obstacle or impediment.


stumbling block
Noun

any obstacle that prevents something from taking place or progressing

Noun 1.
 for an agreement on a regional trade zone.

Businesses not planning to use foreign trade zone benefits even though they are planning to locate in an area designated as a zone do not need approval of their board or by Palmdale.

No application to the foreign trade zone board is needed for companies using zone procedures for warehousing and distribution operations. A one-time application to U.S. Customs would be required.

Manufacturing businesses wanting zone benefits would have to go through a zone application process, but that normally takes place after negotiations are substantially completed, Dennis Puccinelli, acting executive secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department's Foreign Trade Zone Board said in a letter to Lancaster City Manager Jim Gilley.

``To allay concerns between the cities of Palmdale and Lancaster regarding fair treatment of additional applications to the FTZ FTZ Foreign-Trade Zone
FTZ Free-Trade Zone
FTZ Fernmeldetechnisches Zentralamt (German telephone standard organization)
FTZ Forschungs- und Technologiezentrum der Deutschen Telekom
FTZ Finite Transmission Zero
FTZ Flush to Zero
 board, the FTZ staff is prepared to play a role in reviewing the applications in the draft stage and provide advice to either party as to the reasonableness of such applications,'' Puccinelli wrote.

Gilley said Lancaster would be interested in a process that included working with Foreign Trade Zone Board staff.

``We're getting closer,'' Gilley said of the zone discussions. ``We're going in the right direction.''
COPYRIGHT 1999 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 29, 1999
Words:622
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