Bill Signed into Law to Make APEC Travel Card Permanent

BIN file photo.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card program has been signed into law by the President.

Introduced by Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) and Steve Daines’ (R-Mont.), the bill allows Americans and citizens from APEC nations to access fast-track processing lanes at Daniel K. Inouye Honolulu International Airport and airports across the U.S. and Asia-Pacific area.

“The APEC Business Travel Card program has benefited hundreds of Hawai‘i residents by making it easier to travel and conduct business across a region critical to our local economy and jobs,” said Sen. Hirono. “This newly signed law reaffirms the importance of travel to our country’s engagement with the nations of the Asia-Pacific.”

“With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the United States–we must make every effort to expand markets to create new good-paying jobs,” said Sen. Daines. “I’m thrilled to see President Trump sign this bill into law to open new opportunities for businesses.”

Prior to congressional action, permission for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to issue APEC Business Travel Cards was set to expire Sept. 30, 2018.

Over 200 Hawai‘i residents actively hold a card. On average, cardholders save 43 minutes in airport wait times.

The bill, called S. 504, is supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce, U.S. Council for International Business, National Foreign Trade Council, U.S. Travel Association, Global Business Travel Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, U.S.-China Business Council, U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China and the National Center for APEC.

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