ESTABLISH A VISA WAIVER PILOT PROGRAM FOR NATIONALS OF KOREA; Congressional Record Vol. 142, No. 117
(Extensions of Remarks - August 02, 1996)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1498]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




      ESTABLISH A VISA WAIVER PILOT PROGRAM FOR NATIONALS OF KOREA

                                 ______
                                 

                         HON. NEIL ABERCROMBIE

                               of hawaii

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, August 2, 1996

  Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to introduce this measure in 
support of economic growth and jobs for Americans.
  The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea reports that the average 
visitor from South Korea to the United States spends over $3,400. South 
Korean visitors to the United States spent nearly $2 billion in 1995. 
This means economic growth and jobs for Americans particularly those in 
States most visited by South Koreans: California, New York, Hawaii, 
Guam, Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, and Washington, DC. All indications 
show that this boom is just the beginning. Today, South Korea has the 
11th largest economy in the world and is the 6th largest United States 
trading partner. We need to take positive advantage of this new phase 
of South Korean prosperity.
  Unfortunately, the United States continues to restrict Korean 
travelers by not allowing South Korea to participate in the Visa Waiver 
Pilot Program [VWPP]. Although many more Koreans would like to visit 
the United States, they find the visa process to cumbersome. Today, the 
United States lags behind Canada, Australia, and other countries in 
cornering the Korean tourist market.
  The bill I offer with Mr. Jay Kim would establish a visa waiver pilot 
program for nationals of Korea who are traveling in tour groups to the 
United States. Under this bill, Korean visitors are allowed for a 
period of not more than 15 days. The bill would also establish special 
bond and notification requirements for tour operators. These include 
the posting of a $200,000 bond and approval by the Secretary for a tour 
operator's application to escort tour groups to the United States.
  As we work to strengthen our economy in this country, I am confident 
that increased revenues generated from Korean visitors will be most 
welcomed.

                          ____________________