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Helsinki Commission Briefing to Examine Value and Hazards of Free-Trade Zones

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following briefing:

FREE-TRADE ZONES: PRODUCTIVE OR DESTRUCTIVE?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
3:00 p.m.
Russell Senate Office Building
Room 385

Live Webcast: www.facebook.com/HelsinkiCommission

Free-trade zones (FTZs) are duty-free areas within a country’s borders designed to encourage economic development by allowing goods to be imported and exported under less restrictive conditions than are present elsewhere in that country. In many places, these zones generate jobs and revenue; however, they also are hospitable to illicit trade and money laundering. In the worst cases, law enforcement fails and FTZs become global hubs of criminal activity.

This briefing will explore the value of FTZs across the world and the potential for reform, especially in areas where laws are poorly enforced. Participants will discuss the interplay of globalized corruption, transnational criminal organizations, and authoritarianism in and around FTZs; provide data on how these factors lubricate the movement of illicit goods; and recommend policy responses.

The following panelists are scheduled to participate:

  • Dr. Clay Fuller, Jeane Kirkpatrick Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Jack Radisch, Senior Project Manager, OECD High Level Risk Forum
  • Pedro Assares Rodrigues, Europol Representative, Europol Liaison Bureau

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