S. 504 permanently authorizes Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards, allowing eligible U.S. citizens doing business in APEC nations to take advantage of expedited entry and visa processing.
On Monday night, the House of Representatives demonstrated their support for a secure and efficient travel experience for U.S. business travelers by passing S. 504, the Senate’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards (ABTC) Act of 2017. This bill amends the ABTC act of 2011 to permanently authorize the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) business travel card program, which allows eligible U.S. citizens doing business in APEC nations to take advantage of expedited entry and visa processing.
Without this legislative action, the APEC business travel card program would have expired by 2018, unnecessarily undermining American competitiveness in critical global markets. Thankfully, the 2017 ABTC Act has ensured that U.S. ABTC holders will be able to continue conducting business as usual in APEC nations.
Global business travel plays a major role in our nation’s economic health, and permanently authorizing U.S. ABTCs means that American citizens can travel with greater ease and conduct business more effectively with our allies in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. travel community would like to thank Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Steve Daines (R-MT), as well as Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Dan Donavan (R-NY), Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Dave Reichert (R-WA) for their strong leadership on this critical issue, and for ensuring this legislation’s speedy passage.
This post has been edited from a previous version.