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S. 504: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards Act of 2017

This was a vote to pass S. 504 in the House. This vote was taken under a House procedure called “suspension of the rules” which is typically used to pass non-controversial bills. Votes under suspension require a 2/3rds majority. A failed vote under suspension can be taken again.

S. 504 permanently reauthorizes the U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card Program. The APEC program is a voluntary program to facilitate travel for U.S. citizens engaged in verified business in the APEC region and U.S. government officials engaged in APEC business. This legislation permanently authorizes the framework for a trusted traveler program that allows APEC business travelers pre-cleared, facilitated, short-term entry to participating member economies. Currently, the APEC Business Travel Card Program is set to expire in September 2018.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum used by some countries in the Asia-Pacific region to promote economic growth by reducing barriers that hinder trade, travel, and investment among participating countries. Since 1989,Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Singapore; the Republic of Korea; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States; and Vietnam have been cooperating to improve customs procedures and market standards. In 1997, APEC launched the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) program to encourage free and open trade among member economies. The ABTC program facilitates safe, fast, and efficient access to APEC markets. The program reduces business travel costs and wait times for ABTC cardholders.

Under the ABTC program, each member nation establishes its own screening requirements, issuing cards mostly to business travelers and senior government officials participating in APEC business meetings and conferences. DHS began issuing U.S. ABTCs in June 2014. As of March 2017, there were approximately 30,300 American citizens participating in the ABTC program.

Source: Republican Policy Committee

Totals

All Votes R D
Yea 93%
 
 
401
220
 
181
 
Nay 0%
 
 
2
2
 
0
 
Not Voting 7%
 
 
29
16
 
13
 

Date: Oct 23, 2017

Question: On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass in the House

Required: 2/3

Result: Passed

Source: house.gov

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