Conspiracy e-mail’s claims fall flat

02/25/2011
An e-mail that has been circulating among concerned residents who are more than a little intrigued by conspiracy theories found its way to Ola DeGabriele, international trade manager for the city of Fort Wayne.

Peppered with exclamation points, the e-mail outlines a subversive plot to establish 257 little towns of Chinese communists at foreign trade zones across the United States, claiming the communities will be considered “foreign territory” because of their FTZ locations.

Maybe the originator of the e-mail had foreign trade zones confused with embassies.

For purposes of collecting import duties, a foreign trade zone is considered outside U.S. customs territory, but it operates under customs control and supervision. Operations within FTZs are as subject to U.S. immigration laws as businesses outside of the zones.

“The ultimate goal is to increase employment of American workers, not to bring in workers from other countries,” DeGabriele said. “There cannot be illegal immigrants coming in from China.”

When companies apply to operate within a foreign trade zone, “the background of the people involved … is checked out by the FBI,” she said.

The e-mail contains a link to the Eagle Forum website, www.eagleforum.org , which published a Feb. 18 Phyllis Schlafly column warning that “Free Trade with Protectionist China Cheats America.”

But the column included no foreign trade zone references. And searching the website turned up nothing on the FTZ Chinese settlements conspiracy theory.
 
Source: Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly