New York, N.Y., May 26, 2011 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents American top companies in leading global forums, issued the following statement today:
USCIB welcomes the introduction of the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives and urges its passage as soon as is practicable. USCIB applauds Representatives Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Wally Herger (R-Ca.), Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Dan Lundgren (R-Ca.), for their continued sponsorship of the ABTC.
The Asia-Pacific encompasses the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing region. Its markets are critical to maintaining U.S. competiveness and achieving President Obama’s National Export Initiative goals, and ease of travel is important to businesses wishing to engage in those markets.
Eighteen of the 21 APEC governments already issue the ABTC, giving their frequent business travelers a significant advantage through the ease of shorter immigration lines, visa-free access to some countries and expedited review of visa applications in all participating APEC economies. Without the ABTC, U.S. passport holders are at a disadvantage in entering these countries.
The U.S. is the official host of the APEC meetings in 2011. Passage of the ABTC would be both a welcome symbolic gesture and, even more importantly, a practical commitment both to APEC and to the U.S. business community. Congress should take this opportunity to pass the ABTC Act.
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.