November 03, 2017

Hirono, Daines Bill Signed into Law to Make APEC Travel Card Permanent

Over 200 Hawaii Residents Currently Benefit from the Program, Nearly 30,000 Nationally

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Steve Daines’ (R-Mont.) bill to make permanent the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card program was signed into to law by the President.

The law, which grants Americans and citizens from APEC nations access to fast-track processing lanes at Daniel K. Inouye Honolulu International Airport and airports across the U.S. and Asia-Pacific, was passed by Congress last month.

“The APEC Business Travel Card program has benefited hundreds of Hawaii residents by making it easier to travel and conduct business across a region critical to our local economy and jobs,” said Senator 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 Senator Daines. “I’m thrilled to see President Trump sign this bill into law to open new opportunities for businesses.”

Over 200 Hawaii residents are active holders of the APEC Business Travel Card, which saves 43 minutes on average in airport wait times. Without Congressional action, U.S. Customs and Border Protection cannot issue cards to U.S. citizens after September 30, 2018.

The enactment of S.504, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards Act, comes in advance the annual APEC Leaders’ Meeting next week.

S. 504 is supported by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Hawaii 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.