The Board is authorized, subject to the conditions and restrictions of this chapter and of the rules and regulations made thereunder, upon application as hereinafter provided, to grant to corporations the privilege of establishing, operating, and maintaining foreign-trade zones in or adjacent to ports of entry under the jurisdiction of the United States.
Each port of entry shall be entitled to at least one zone, but when a port of entry is located within the confines of more than one State such port of entry shall be entitled to a zone in each of such States, and when two cities separated by water are embraced in one port of entry, a zone may be authorized in each of said cities or in territory adjacent thereto. Zones in addition to those to which a port of entry is entitled shall be authorized only if the Board finds that existing or authorized zones will not adequately serve the convenience of commerce.
In granting applications preference shall be given to public corporations.
In case of any State in which harbor facilities of any port of entry are owned and controlled by the State and in which State harbor facilities of any other port of entry are owned and controlled by a municipality, the Board shall not grant an application by any public corporation for the establishment of any zone in such State, unless such application has been authorized by an Act of the legislature of such State (enacted after June 18, 1934).