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                                                      Calendar No. 190
115th Congress       }                                  {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session         }                                  {      115-140
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     


         APEC BUSINESS TRAVEL CARDS REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2017

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                 S. 504

TO PERMANENTLY AUTHORIZE THE ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION BUSINESS 
                          TRAVEL CARD PROGRAM

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                 August 1, 2017.--Ordered to be printed
                 
                                   ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

69-010 PDF                     WASHINGTON : 2017 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  JON TESTER, Montana
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
JOHN HOEVEN, North Dakota            MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
STEVE DAINES, Montana                KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
                  Christopher R. Hixon, Staff Director
                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Chief Counsel
           Jose J. Bautista, Senior Professional Staff Member
            Nathaniel B. Jones, U.S. Secret Service Detailee
               Margaret E. Daum, Minority Staff Director
               Stacia M. Cardille, Minority Chief Counsel
       Charles A. Moskowitz, Minority Senior Legislative Counsel
                    Sue Ramanathan, Minority Counsel
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk




























                                                      Calendar No. 190
115th Congress       }                                  {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session         }                                  {      115-140

======================================================================



 
         APEC BUSINESS TRAVEL CARDS REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

                 August 1, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 504]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 504) to permanently 
authorize the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel 
Card Program, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and the Need for Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................3
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................4
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................4
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............5

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of S. 504, the APEC Business Travel Cards 
Reauthorization Act of 2017, is to permanently authorize the 
United States' participation in the APEC Business Travel Card 
program that was first authorized by Congress in 2011. The 
authority is set to expire at the end of fiscal year 2018.

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    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.\1\ 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.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\About APEC: History, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, 
www.apec.org/About-Us/About-APEC/History (last visited on May 26, 
2017); Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, U.S. Dep't of State, https://
www.state.gov/p/eap/regional/apec (last visited June 16, 2017).
    \2\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 1997, APEC launched the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) 
program to encourage free and open trade among member 
economies.\3\ The ABTC program facilitates safe, fast, and 
efficient access to APEC markets. The program reduces business 
travel costs and wait times for ABTC cardholders.\4\ 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.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\APEC Business Travel Card, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, 
https://www.apec.org/About-Us/About-APEC/Business-Resources/APEC-
Business-Travel-Card.aspx (last visited July 11, 2017).
    \4\Reducing Business Travel Costs: The Success of APEC's Business 
Mobility Initiatives, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Nov. 2011), 
available at http://publications.apec.org/publication-
detail.php?pub_id=1214.
    \5\APEC Business Travel Card: Operating Framework, Asia-Pacific 
Economic Cooperation (Feb. 15, 2007), available at http://
www.businessmobility.org/key/abtc_operating_framework.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All applicants are vetted prior to receiving a card. For 
example, American citizens must be an existing member in good 
standing or be approved in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
(CBP) trusted traveler program such as SENTRI, NEXUS, or Global 
Entry.\6\ Once the application is approved, cardholders are 
issued the ABTC, which provides access to fast-track 
immigration processing lanes. Upon arrival at an airport of 
entry, ABTC users are vetted against customs and immigration 
databases to ensure they meet trusted traveler requirements.\7\ 
Similar to screening procedures for other visa holders, CBP 
officers make admission determinations on a case by case basis 
for each ABTC traveler.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Travel Card 
Program FAQs: Eligibility for the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card, U.S. 
Customs & Border Patrol, https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-
programs/apec-faqs (last visited June 16, 2017) (see ``Am I eligible 
for the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card'').
    \7\Id.
    \8\U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Travel Card Program FAQs: 
Program Benefits, U.S. Customs & Border Patrol, https://www.cbp.gov/
travel/trusted-traveler-programs/apec-faqs (last visited July 27, 
2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All 21 APEC member nations participate in the ABTC program, 
but only 19 nations are full members of the program.\9\ Full 
members provide ABTC holders visa-free travel into the country 
and access to expedited immigration lanes upon arrival.\10\ The 
United States and Canada are transitional members, meaning that 
a short-stay visa is still required for nationals of a non-Visa 
Waiver Program country.\11\ In support of greater APEC 
cooperation, the United States allows APEC users to use 
designated lines at airports that are maintained to screen 
pilots and airline crew.\12\ The United States affords foreign 
ABTC holders expedited visa interviews at designated embassies 
and consulates in APEC countries.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Achievements and Benefits, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, 
https://www.apec.org/About-Us/About-APEC/Achievements%20and%20Benefits 
(last visited May 28, 2017).
    \10\APEC Business Travel Card, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, 
http://www.apec.org/About-Us/About-APEC/Business-Resources/APEC-
Business-Travel-Card.aspx (last visited May 28, 2017).
    \11\Id.
    \12\United States-Short-Term Business Visit, APEC Business Travel 
Card (ABTC), available at http://travel.apec.org/united-states-short-
term-business-visit.html (last visited July 27, 2017).
    \13\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Because the United States did not offer ABTCs to its 
citizens, but allowed expedited immigration access to foreign 
ABTC holders, American businesses were placed at a competitive 
trade disadvantage in a vital region of the world.\14\ To 
remedy this imbalance, Congress passed and President Obama 
signed the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel 
Cards Act in 2011.\15\ The law authorized the Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS) to issue ABTCs through the end of 
fiscal year 2018 to eligible business leaders and U.S. 
Government officials who are actively engaged in APEC 
business.\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\S. Rep. No. 1487, 112th Congress (2011).
    \15\P.L. No. 112-54 (112th Cong.); see also S. Rep. No. 1487, 112th 
Congress (2011).
    \16\P.L. No. 112-54 (112th Cong.) at section 2(a); 8 U.S.C. Sec.  
1185 note.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DHS began issuing U.S. ABTCs in June 2014.\17\ As of March 
2017, there were approximately 30,300 American citizens 
participating in the ABTC program.\18\ Unless reauthorized, the 
authority for the United States to issue ABTCs to its citizens 
will expire on September 30, 2018.\19\ The DHS, Department of 
State, and CBP support ABTC reauthorization.\20\ ABTC 
reauthorization is also endorsed by multiple U.S. business 
organizations, whose members aspire to maintain parity with 
their foreign business competitors.\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\CBP Extends Validity to 5 Years for Newly U.S. Issued APEC 
Business Travel Card, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (December 1, 
2016) https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-extends-
validity-5-years-newly-us-issued-apec-business-travel.
    \18\Committee Staff interview with Dep't of Homeland Sec. officials 
(Apr. 12, 2017).
    \19\8 U.S.C. Sec.  1185 note (2012).
    \20\Committee Staff interviews with Dep't of Homeland Sec. and 
Dep't of State officials (July 2016).
    \21\Letters from the business industry to Senator Mazie Hirono (on 
file with the Committee).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    S. 504 would permanently reauthorize the U.S. ABTC program, 
providing benefits to American entrepreneurs at no cost to 
American taxpayers.\22\ The removal of the sunset provision 
does not eliminate or alter the Secretary of Homeland 
Security's authority to suspend or terminate the ABTC program 
in the interest of the United States. The Committee intends 
that S. 504 be budget neutral, as DHS retains authority to 
collect ABTC holder fees sufficient to maintain the operational 
costs associated with the ABTC program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\Committee Staff interview with Dep't of Homeland Sec. officials 
(May 16, 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        III. Legislative History

    On March 2, 2017, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced S. 
504, the APEC Business Travel Cards Reauthorization Act of 
2017, with Senator Steve Daines (R-MT). Senators Amy Klobuchar 
(D-MN) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) joined as co-sponsors on March 
28, 2017, and May 8, 2017, respectively. The bill was referred 
to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
    The Committee considered S. 504 at a business meeting on 
May 17, 2017. No amendments were offered. The legislation was 
approved by voice vote en bloc. Senators present for the vote 
were Johnson, McCain, Portman, Paul, Lankford, Daines, Enzi, 
McCaskill, Tester, Heitkamp, Peters, Hassan, and Harris.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill, as Reported


Section 1. Short title

    This section specifies that the bill may be cited as the 
``APEC Business Travel Cards Reauthorization Act of 2017.''

Sec. 2. Permanent authorization

    This section amends Section 2(a) of the Asia-Pacific 
Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards Act of 2011 (8 
U.S.C. Sec.  1185 note) by removing the sunset provision. This 
permanently authorizes the ABTC program.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the Rule. The Committee agrees with the Congressional Budget 
Office's statement that the bill contains no intergovernmental 
or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                     June 14, 2017.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 504, the APEC 
Business Travel Cards Reauthorization Act of 2017.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

S. 504--APEC Business Travel Cards Reauthorization Act of 2017

    The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business 
Travel Cards Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-54) authorized the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue special cards to 
eligible U.S. citizens to facilitate international travel to 
participating countries (mostly in Asia). Under the act, DHS 
may not issue the cards after September 30, 2018. S. 504 would 
extend this program permanently.
    DHS collects a fee of $70 from applicants for the APEC 
card. These fees are classified in the budget as offsetting 
receipts (a reduction in direct spending) and are available to 
DHS to spend without further appropriation. In fiscal year 2016 
DHS collected a total of about $1 million in fees. CBO 
estimates that enacting S. 504 would have no significant net 
effect on DHS spending because we expect the department would 
collect and spend roughly the same amounts in future years.
    Because enacting the bill would affect direct spending, 
pay-as-you-go procedures apply; however, we estimate that the 
net effect would be negligible in every year. Enacting the bill 
would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 504 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 504 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 504 as reported are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is printed in 
italic, and existing law in which no change is proposed is 
shown in roman):

UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 8--ALIENS AND NATIONALITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 12--IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBCHAPTER II--IMMIGRATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



    PART II--ADMISSION QUALIFICATIONS FOR ALIENS; TRAVEL CONTROL OF 
CITIZENS AND ALIENS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SECTION 1185--TRAVEL CONTROL OF CITIZENS AND ALIENS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATIVE BUSINESS TRAVEL CARDS ACT OF 2011

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 2. ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION BUSINESS TRAVEL CARDS.

    (a) In General.--[During the 7-year period ending on 
September 30, 2018, the Secretary] The Secretary of Homeland 
Security, in coordination with the Secretary of State, is 
authorized to issue Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business 
Travel Cards (referred to in this section as `ABT Cards') to 
any eligible person, including business leaders and United 
States Government officials who are actively engaged in Asia-
Pacific Economic Cooperation business. An individual may not 
receive an ABT Card under this section unless the individual 
has been approved and is in good standing in an international 
trusted traveler program of the Department of Homeland 
Security.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]