WASHINGTON— Today, Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) released the following statement after the House passed S. 504, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards Act, legislation to permanently reauthorize the U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card Program:
“In order to keep California’s businesses competitive, it is critical to provide resources that improve access to growing markets. The APEC Business Travel Card program allows California businesses—which have deep ties with Asia-Pacific partners—to better compete in a 21st century global economy by allowing Travel Card holders expedited clearance at ports of entry in the 21 APEC member economies. Fast-track lanes allow American business travelers to reduce their cost of travel overseas while at the same time improves security at our ports of entry. The APEC Travel Card means increased opportunity and jobs right here in Southern California.”
The U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card Program provides access to fast-track immigration lanes at airports for travelers who conduct verified business in the APEC region while maintaining the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to revoke an individual’s card if there is a sufficient security justification.
APEC, a forum of 21 Pacific Rim economies including the U.S., created the ABTC program in 1997, and the U.S. started issuing cards to eligible Americans in 2014 after Congress passed the APEC Business Travel Cards Act in 2011. This program does not use any taxpayer money and facilitates travel for verified individuals who have enrolled in a trusted traveler program.