Foreign Trade Zone Proposed for Eastern Coachella Valley County to Include Airport and Surrounding Lands near Thermal
RIVERSIDE – The Four Winds Tribal Coalition is proposing a 4,500-acre Foreign Trade Zone to serve the eastern Coachella Valley. The Foreign Trade Zone will provide tax benefits to importing and exporting businesses located within 3,541 acres of tribal land and 1,000 developable acres in and around the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal.
“We (tribes) continuously look for avenues to support the communities in which we work and reside,” said David Roosevelt, Chairman of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. “The county’s support of a tribally owned and operated Foreign Trade Zone, which will include the county’s Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport, shows that established government-to-government relationships are strengthened by working together for the betterment of our communities.”
“Establishing a Foreign Trade Zone of tribal lands and a key aviation asset will help create a climate that welcomes manufacturers, and the jobs they create, to our county,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “I commend the partnering tribal governments for the essential contributions they are making to the economic health of our valley.”
The Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to support the application for the Four Winds Foreign Trade Zone, the county’s fifth, on Tuesday. The Four Winds Tribal Coalition has already agreed to support the expansion of the Palm Springs Foreign Trade Zone.
The Four Winds Tribal Coalition is comprised of the tribal governments of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians and Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. The coalition works with the community to improve economic development conditions and opportunities for businesses and families in the eastern Coachella Valley.
“The Four Winds Tribal Coalition is a fresh, new wind in the valley,” said Ray Torres, Vice Chairman of the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians. “We are creating change by doing it individually and together in a way that is right and just to the people we are serving. We want to be responsible neighbors.”
“For some time the tribes realized their location provided a shared set of unique circumstances, setting the stage for mutual opportunities among themselves and the residents of East Coachella Valley,” said Darrell Mike, Chairman of the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. “The Four Winds Foreign Trade Zone is an excellent example of how tribes and local governments can work together.”
Foreign Trade Zones incentivize manufacturing in the United States by reducing customs duties and import taxes on parts, materials and components imported into the Foreign Trade Zone. This in turn provides the coalition with an economic development tool to assist in attracting capital investment, infrastructure and jobs to the eastern Coachella Valley.
“The Coalition looks forward to working with Riverside County in a mutual relationship to further the economic development of the eastern Riverside County region and, more specifically, the eastern Coachella Valley,” said Chairman Roosevelt.
The Board recently supported expanding Palm Springs Foreign Trade Zone 236 westward to Cabazon, Morongo tribal lands and the city of Banning and eastward to encompass all nine Coachella Valley cities. In addition, there is a Foreign Trade Zone at the March Inland Port, the Port of Los Angeles Foreign Trade Zone 202 that serves Eastvale and the recently-expanded Foreign Trade Zone in San Diego that serves southwest Riverside County.
The Board has also established the Riverside County Manufacturers and Exporters Association to support local manufacturers and provide networking opportunities for exporters.
Four Winds Tribal Coalition Mission Statement:
We, the people of the Four Winds Tribal Coalition, believe strength comes from our Creator and from our communities, our families, and ourselves. We believe local tribes and communities can unite to create a better environment for every person, business, and family in East Coachella Valley.
We believe we are laying the foundation for the Seven Generations to come by reaching out, supporting, and working with our schools, businesses, and local organizations, while protecting, preserving, and sharing our cultural traditions as handed down to us by our Creator.
Supervisor John J. Benoit represents the Fourth District on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Stretching from the Palm Springs area south to the Salton Sea and east to the Colorado River, it is the largest geographical district in the county.
Please note: Benoit’s regular office hours are Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.