With the ongoing woes of an international trade war and now a global pandemic brewing, Dino Dardano, president of Hestra Gloves, is ready to try a new tool available to him as a business in Jefferson County: foreign trade zones.
The county became the latest Colorado community awarded the special designation, which lets businesses postpone U.S. tariff payments or skip them altogether. Hestra, known for its ski and work gloves, already paid tariffs on gloves sitting at its warehouse that won’t be shipped to customers until the fall. But in a free-trade zone, Dardano said he could have waited to pay the tax until the fall, when there was a chance tariff prices would be lower. At minimum, the business could have held on to the cash longer.
“It would definitely help our cash flow, especially since we’re (affected by) the new penalty tariffs, which is 25%,” said Dardano, whose company was unable to get its gloves excluded from tariffs or be part of the recent “Phase 1” deal with China to delay a tariff hike. “Last year (Hestra paid) over a million dollars in duties and tariffs.”