Passport App to Expedite Arrival of International Travelers at LAX

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) announced today the expansion of Mobile Passport Control (MPC) to LAX. With the addition of LAX, Mobile Passport Control is now available to U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors arriving at 23 major international airports. The Mobile Passport app has been downloaded 1 million times over the last two years.

Mobile Passport is the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s arrival into the United States. Eligible travelers may voluntarily submit their passport information and answers to inspection-related questions to CBP via a smartphone or tablet app prior to arrival. Android and iPhone users can download the Mobile Passport app for free from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

“CBP is committed to improving the international travel experience by offering new and innovative technology to streamline the arrival process,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “Through our partnership with Los Angeles World Airports, travelers arriving at LAX will have another processing option to use that has been proven to reduce wait times without compromising our important border security mission.”

MPC currently offers U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors a more efficient in-person inspection between the CBP officer and the traveler upon arrival in the United States. Much like Automated Passport Control (APC) the app does not require pre-approval and is free to use. Travelers who successfully use the app will no longer have to complete a paper form or use an APC kiosk. As a result, travelers will experience shorter wait times, less congestion and faster processing.

“At Los Angeles World Airports, one of our strategic goals is to innovate for security, efficiency, and effectiveness, and the Mobile Passport Control app is a prime example of how we do this,” said Aura Moore, LAWA Deputy Executive Director and Chief Information Officer. “The introduction of the MPC app at LAX is another milestone in our work to enhance the guest experience and deliver a gold-standard airport, without compromising on safety or security. And thanks to the twelve new Wi-Fi access points we’ve installed in the customs area, travelers can be assured the infrastructure is in place to support this new tool.”

The process is efficient and secure, the information and answers to inspection-related questions are submitted directly to CBP via secure encryption protocols. The App streamlines the traveler inspection process and enables CBP officers to focus more on the inspection and less on administrative functions.

Information about Mobile Passport Control, including how to download the app, user eligibility and other frequently asked questions, is available on CBP.gov.
CBP’s website offers rules and tips for clearing CBP inspection during travel to and from the United States.

By CBP: September 21, 2017

Celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week

The following is a cross-post from Tradeology, the official blog of the International Trade Administration (ITA)

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), now in its 34th year, is the annual salute to travel and tourism in America. During the first full week in May, communities across our nation unite to showcase the impact of travel to policymakers, business leaders and local media with rallies, events and other activities.

While the industry is focused on celebrating this week, the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service offices around the globe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), federal agencies responsible for the United States’ public and Native American lands (Interior, Agriculture, Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, etc.), and the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working together to put our best face forward when the world’s largest travel trade show, IPW, comes to Washington.

For the first time in its 49-year history, the U.S. Travel Association is bringing its premiere trade show, IPW, formerly known as the Discover America International Pow Wow, to the nation’s capital.

In just three days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the USA (representing all industry category components), and nearly 1,200 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries, conduct business negotiations that will generate more than $4.7 billion in future travel to the United States.

Given that travel and tourism is the United States’ largest services export and represented a $246.2 billion dollar infusion into the nation’s economy in 2015, the federal partners are pleased to have IPW in our backyard. In addition to providing the world’s U.S. travel goods and services buyers and the international media with an “up close and personal” look at all there is to see and do here in the nation’s capital, having IPW in Washington will also give U.S. Travel the opportunity to showcase the importance of the travel and tourism industry to our national elected officials.

America’s travel and tourism industry is on the rise. Representing $1.6 trillion in economic activity annually, this sector of our economy supports more than 7.9 million U.S. jobs, 1.2 million of which are directly attributable to international inbound travel – read exports. More people are employed by travel and tourism-related industries than are employed collectively in the construction industry, finance and insurance industries, agriculture, and education.

The federal partners are building new itineraries that will feature our national marine sanctuaries, wildlife refuges, lesser-known national parks, scenic byways and other federal properties. In addition, Commercial Service officers will meet with U.S. sellers, offering export assistance, and with international buyers, offering connections between them and U.S. sellers. The Department of Homeland Security will be taking appointments for enrollment in its trusted traveler programs and Native American tribal representatives and the Bureau of Indian Affairs will meet with international buyers to educate them about the tremendous product available on our Native Lands.

International travelers visit the United States to see big cities like New York, where you can ride a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, take a walk through Central Park and enjoy a Broadway show, all in one day.

People come to America to hike the California Coast, where you can find bonsai trees living in the shadows of the giant redwoods, a phenomenon that does not exist anywhere else on the planet.

People come to America to see some of the best art and culture in the world, from the globally renowned art collection at the Chicago Institute of Art to the back lots of Hollywood to the Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Ark., one of the hottest new museums in the country.

Our country’s diverse array of uniquely American experiences can stand up to any destination anywhere in the world, but we cannot take either our experiences or our visitors for granted. We must stay focused on maintaining a welcoming presence to the international buyer community and we believe a strong presence at IPW is one great way to accomplish that.

For more information on National Travel and Tourism Week, go to: https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/national-travel-and-tourism-week

U.S.-CHINA TOURISM YEAR 2016

Kelly Craighead is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism and Executive Director for the National Travel and Tourism Office.

Not only an important trading partner, China is a critically important travel and tourism market for the United States. It plays an enormous role in our ability to reach the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy’s goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors annually to the United States by 2021.

Travel from China to the United States continues to show double-digit growth, with 2.6 million Chinese travelers visiting the United States in 2015 – an 18 percent growth over the previous year. Last year, these visitors spent a record $30.1 billion experiencing the United States, positioning China as the United States’ top spending market abroad in terms of travel and tourism exports.

According to the October 2016 National Travel and Tourism Office Forecast for International Travelers, more than 5 million Chinese travelers are expected to visit the United States by 2021 – which would make China the top overseas visitation market.
Recognizing the importance of travel and tourism between the two nations, President Obama and President Xi proclaimed 2016 as the U.S.-China Tourism Year (Tourism Year). The Tourism Year was initiated as an opportunity for both countries to review policies, processes and product offerings to ensure that Chinese visitors to the United States are met with an enjoyable travel experience.

Last week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker gave remarks at the U.S.-China Tourism Year closing event. “The Tourism Year was initiated as an opportunity for our countries to take a look at our policies, processes and product offerings to ensure that we can provide Chinese visitors with an enjoyable travel experience,” Pritzker explained

To make the United States a more welcoming destination for Chinese visitors, U.S. Travel and Tourism industry leaders used the Tourism Year to encourage the industry to become “prepared for China.”.

The Department of Commerce had three overarching goals for the Tourism Year:
To provide outreach to the entire nation about the importance of being prepared for Chinese visitors in order to be a competitive destination;

To successfully execute a small number of “signature events;” and

To work closely with industry and across the federal government to encourage efforts to create an enjoyable experience for Chinese visitors from beginning to end.

Signature events completed during the year included the February opening event hosted by Brand USA in Beijing; the 1,000 U.S. visitors to the Great Wall event in March; the China-U.S. Tourism Leadership Summit in September, held in Ningxia; and the closing event held in Washington, D.C. in November.
Here are just a couple of the achievements during this year:

Federal agencies developed new travel itineraries for destinations and activities that speak directly to Chinese interests, including thematic itineraries such as national parks and the great outdoors.

Commercial Service produced a China Travel Resource Guide for use by the U.S. travel and tourism industry interested in Chinese visitation.

The National Park Service is ensuring that Chinese visitors have access to in-language materials and web information at the most visited National Parks.

The State Department maintained progress on visa processing and kept wait times down to less than five days, despite the more than 50 percent increase in applications since the extension of visa validity.

Commerce will continue to work with industry to determine how the government can assist with market access issues in China, and we will continue to push for policy issues to be resolved, including: 1) ensuring there are ample air services to cater to the increasing demand for Chinese travel to the United States; 2) working to open the sale of outbound travel in China to U.S. companies; and 3) ensuring the ability of foreign global distribution services platforms to operate in China.

As our two populations more clearly understand the ties that bind our nations, this will create a multiplier effect for governmental and business ties, and maximize the potential of the most consequential relationship in the world. Deepening those people-to-people ties fundamentally requires travel and tourism, which is why the Tourism Year was so critical.

U.S. and Chinese Delegations Conclude the 27th Session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman today led a U.S. delegation in discussions with Vice Premier Wang Yang and other Chinese government officials as part of the 27th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus also participated in this year’s JCCT, the last of the Obama Administration. At the conclusion of the discussions, the United States announced key outcomes in the areas of intellectual property protection, pharmaceutical and medical devices, and information security policies.

Specific outcomes of today’s meetings are described below. For further information on outcomes from the meetings, click here.
“The role of the JCCT is to expand the U.S.-China economic relationship by addressing commercial challenges head on and producing concrete results for both our countries. While we have had a productive day, significant challenges remain in our relationship, and we must redouble our commitment to addressing them,” said Secretary Penny Pritzker. “As the two largest economies and the two largest markets in the world, constructive engagement and sustained diplomacy between the United States and China are critical to making progress on the issues that remain in our relationship. That is what the JCCT is all about.”

“Over the years, JCCT has provided a vital platform to discuss the trade and investment issues that shape the U.S.-China economic relationship. This year’s JCCT produced progress on a number of issues facing American workers and businesses, but challenging issues in our bilateral economic relationship remain,”said Ambassador Froman.“What we know is that American workers and businesses are willing to compete with their counterparts in China, but expect to do so on a level playing field. As we conclude the final JCCT under President Obama’s leadership, we are hopeful the JCCT will continue to be an effective forum for sustained and meaningful engagement in the years to come.”

“While the agricultural outcomes of this week’s JCCT did not go as far as the United States had hoped, I remain optimistic that, in the final weeks of this Administration, we can still make additional progress on priority issues including biotechnology approvals and market access for U.S. beef,” said Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I urge both sides to reengage as soon as possible so that we can fulfill this expectation and complete work before the end of the year and the start of the new administration.”

Established in 1983, the JCCT is the primary forum for addressing bilateral trade and investment issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China. The 2015 JCCT meeting was held in Guangzhou, China.

Building upon the increased size and scope of the U.S.-China commercial relationship, the JCCT was reinvigorated in 2014 to include a full day of collaborative programing designed to facilitate private sector engagement with officials from the United States and China, as well as to promote the exchange of information on trade opportunities at the state, provincial, and local levels.

This year’s private sector engagements included a celebratory dinner hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the US-China Business Council, as well as roundtable discussions on corporate restructuring, agriculture and food safety, and the digital economy.

Overview of JCCT Outcomes

Through sustained engagement during the course of this past year, the United States and China have reached agreement in several areas of key importance to U.S. farmers, innovators, manufacturers, workers and consumers, including in the following areas:

Implementation: The United States and China agree on the importance of the full implementation of past JCCT outcomes to secure meaningful benefits for our workers and businesses. China agreed to build upon the 2011 commitment of President Hu Jintao to President Obama to delink Chinese indigenous innovation policies from government procurement preferences, and China’s 2011 JCCT and S&ED commitments to eliminate catalogues or measures with such links.

Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals: China committed to strengthen oversight of government procurement of medical devices to ensure foreign brands and foreign-manufactured products are treated in a transparent, fair, and equitable manner, and to not link procurement to policies promoting domestically produced medical devices. China also affirmed that drug registration review and approval shall not be linked to pricing commitments and shall not require specific pricing information.
Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Enforcement: China agreed to a number of IPR-related commitments that will facilitate much needed improvements for a wide range of industries that rely on the ability to protect and enforce their IPR in China. China affirmed that it is strengthening its trade secrets protections and prioritizing enforcement against online IPR counterfeiting and piracy. Both countries recognize the important role of online platforms in developing innovative new ways to deliver safe, reliable, and legitimate products in convenient and affordable ways.
Excess Capacity: Building on Presidential commitments made earlier this year, the U.S. and China agreed to jointly promote the expeditious establishment of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity. In addition, the United States and China recognized the G20 Leaders’ commitment to take effective steps to address the challenges of global excess capacity. Both sides have agreed to exchange information on soda ash and to address global electrolytic aluminum excess capacity.

Innovation: This year’s JCCT provided an opportunity for the U.S. and China to build upon commitments made by Presidents Obama and Xi in September that innovation policies should be consistent with the principle of nondiscrimination. China confirmed that its “secure and controllable” policies will not limit sales opportunities for foreign companies or impose nationality-based restrictions, and will be notified to the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Committee.
Semiconductors: China and the United States jointly reaffirm their commitment to a strong, vibrant global semiconductor industry that operates in fair, open and transparent legal and regulatory environments. China reaffirms that operation of the integrated circuit investment funds will be based on market principles and that the government will not interfere with the normal operation of the funds.

THE WORLD’S LARGEST BUSINESS AVIATION EVENT – 2016 NBAA-BACE

Orlando, Nov 1st,  Join 27,000 industry professionals for the most important three days of business aviation today. Ranked as the sixth largest trade show in the United States, the Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) held on Nov. 1–3, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, bringing together current and prospective aircraft owners, manufacturers and customers into one meeting place to get critical work accomplished.

NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) is the year’s most significant media event for the business aviation industry. This event brings together business leaders, government officials, manufacturers, corporate aviation department personnel and all manner of people involved in nearly all aspects of business aviation.

Roughly 27,000 business aviation industry professionals are expected to converge on Orlando, FL Nov. 1-3 for NBAA’s 2016 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). For the Orlando area, whose economy depends heavily on travel and tourism, including a booming convention business, NBAA-BACE is a major contributor to the area’s economy.

Ranked as one of the largest trade show in the United States, NBAA-BACE brings together current and prospective aircraft owners, manufacturers and customers into one meeting place to survey the latest aviation product offerings, network with peers and accomplish critical work.

According to the Orlando County Convention Center (OCCC), the show will have an estimated overall economic impact on the area of $51.2 million. NBAA attendees will utilize 46,100 total hotel room nights, with 10,000 nights booked during the peak period, according to OCCC.

“The Orange County Convention Center is honored to host the prestigious NBAA conference,” said OCCC Executive Director Kathie Canning. “We have enjoyed an outstanding relationship with NBAA and are excited to continue to provide their leadership, exhibitors and attendees with all of the amenities that our convention center and community have to offer.”

NBAA last held the convention in Orlando in 2014, and the show is scheduled to return to Orlando in 2018. NBAA-BACE feature more than 1,100 exhibits and two static aircraft displays, as well as more 50 educational seminars.

Starting Nov. 1, U.S. passport photos with glasses no longeracceptable

Beginning November 1st, 2016, customers applying for their U.S. passport or U.S visa or renewing their U.S. passport must remove glasses for their photo.

Last year, more than 200,000 U.S. passport customers submitted poor quality photos which we couldn’t accept. The #1 problem was glasses. We had to put their passport applications on hold because we couldn’t clearly identify them from their photo. Many U.S. visa applications have been delayed due to the same problem.

If the photo of you in your unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. visa has glasses, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to get a passport or visa now. Next time you renew your passport or apply for a new visa, though, you’ll have to take your glasses off.

This policy change helps us and it helps you. We can see you more clearly now and you will experience fewer U.S. passport and U.S. visa application delays and can move faster through U.S. ports of entry. Don’t get us wrong, we love your glasses, but take them off for your U.S. passport or U.S. visa photo.*

For more information on photos, check out our passport photo requirements and photo examples or visa photo requirements and photo examples.

*If you must wear eye glasses for medical reasons, you’ll need to obtain and submit a signed statement with your U.S. passport or U.S. visa application from a medical professional or health practitioner.

Panda Footprint · 2016 Wenchuan International Fans Walking Festival

Panda Footprint · 2016 Wenchuan International Fans Walking Festival

Finding Panda Footprint · International Fans Walking Festival Invitation

Welcome
Date: Oct. 20, 2016, 8:00AM
Place: Wolong Giant Panda Museum

Sponsor:
Chengdu Branch, American International Chamber of Commerce

For the purpose of promoting US-China economic and trade and developing culture and education, AICC Chengdu Branch, on the basis of the high-quality resources in Sichuan, will make every effort to provide all types of members with a full range of services such as financial investment, economic and trade, corporate listing, cultural exchange, education and training, exhibition planning, sightseeing and tourism, business investigation, overseas study and immigration, business law, and human resources.

Introduction:
“Finding Panda Footprint” International Fans Walking Festival will be taken as the theme to further promote the green development and protection of giant pandas, to make the members participate in the development of the Giant Panda Economic Zone in the southwestern area of Aba, to highlight the characteristic tourism of “Sunshine Valley, Panda Home, Healthcare Wenchuan”, to further develop the panda brand of “Wenchuan and Wolong Nature Reserve Giant Panda Habitat”, and to promote economic, social, ecological and cultural development of Wenchuan, Sichuan, China.

Highlights

Visit Wolong Giant Panda Museum
Panda fans hiking
Panda fans waling festival
Participate in the walking festival to win a surprise gift

Event Schedule
Agenda:
9:00-9:30 AM Opening Ceremony
10:00-11:00 AM Visit the Giant Panda Museum
11:00 AM Start of the Panda Fans Waking Festival
18:00-19:00 PM Closing Ceremony

Registration
Phone: 15882356180
Wechat: 13908050332
QQ: 1258774616
Contact: Mr. Miao

Hints:
Departure Location: Sichuan Chengdu Gymnasium
Departure Time: 7:00-7:30 AM
To the site by bus
End time: 18:00-19:00 PM
Back to Chengdu by bus
Contact: 15882356180
Location: Wolong Giant Panda Museum