Donovan pushes to reauthorize fast-track program for Pacific Rim business travelers

U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) is leading the effort to permanently reauthorize a program that provides fast-track immigration lanes for business travelers to the Asia-Pacific region through legislation he introduced last week.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card (ABTC) program, which provides expedited business travel for nearly 30,000 Americans to Pacific Rim countries each year, would be extended beyond the current September 2018 sunset date under the APEC Business Travel Cards Reauthorization Act, H.R. 2805.

“New York is a hub for a variety of industries and businesses that rely not just on domestic sales, but on foreign marketplaces as well,” Donovan said. “The APEC Business Travel Card helps Americans travel faster and more efficiently throughout the Asia-Pacific region, allowing them to spend more time on business, and less time in airport lines. We must ensure that our business leaders have the resources they need to compete in an increasingly globalized economy, which is why I’m proud to support the permanent extension of this program.”

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol estimates that U.S. business and government travelers are able to save 43 minutes per trip by accessing fast-track immigration lanes at APEC airports.

The ABTC program, which was established in 1997, first became available to U.S. travelers in 2014. It’s supported entirely by user fees and requires no taxpayer funding for support.

Donovan introduced the bill with bipartisan support from U.S. Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Rick Larsen (D-WA). U.S. Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) previously introduced companion legislation in the Senate.