New York, N.Y., November 7, 2011 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s top global companies and exporters, welcomed Friday’s Congressional passage of a bill to speed business travel in the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards Act of 2011 will allow American business and government personnel traveling in the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) region access to expedited visa processing and designated airport travel lanes.
“Adoption of the APEC Business Travel Card will provide a big boost for American companies and executives doing business in the Asia-Pacific region, and will contribute to improved competitiveness and job growth at home,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “It comes as our engagement with Asian and Pacific markets is deepening, and policy makers need to take new measures to open up trade, investment and travel in this rapidly growing market. It also levels the playing field, since the United States already gives expedited treatment to business travelers from the other APEC member economies.”
Passage of the measure came just in time for this week’s APEC CEO Summit and Leaders Meeting taking place in Honolulu. USCIB will be represented at the APEC meetings by Rob Mulligan, senior vice president and head of USCIB’s Washington, D.C. office, and Justine Badimon, manager for APEC affairs.
USCIB and other U.S. APEC Business Coalition partners urged passage of the bill in the House and Senate during 2011, the U.S. APEC host year. The measure was sponsored by a number of members of the House and Senate, including Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Wally Herger (R-Ca.), Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), Dan Lundgren (R-Ca) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). Mr. Robinson said USCIB was grateful to the bill’s sponsors for their leadership and support.
USCIB boosts exports and helps American business travelers by issuing and guaranteeing ATA Carnets, the “merchandise passports” that permit duty-free, tax-free export of various types of goods to some 80 countries and customs territories around the world, including most APEC member economies, for up to one year. More information on ATA Carnets is available at www.merchandisepassport.org.
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 leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
(212) 703-5043, firstname.lastname@example.org