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NTA Supports the Protecting American Commerce and Travel Act

February 19, 2007

NTA Supports the Protecting American Commerce and Travel Act
Feb. 19, 2007 – The National Tour Association backs proposed legislation that will repair travel restrictions included in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. NTA sent a letter of support for H.R. 1061 to Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, along with representatives John M. McHugh, R-N.Y., Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Donald Manzullo, R-Ill. H.R. 1061 cites the potential harm to businesses and communities along the Canadian border.


The legislation, known as the Protecting American Commerce and Travel Act, or the PACT Act, recognizes that approximately 23 million U.S. citizens annually cross the northern or southern border. Canada is the United States’ largest trading partner, with an average of $1.1 billion in goods crossing the U.S.-Canada border daily.


The letter, signed by NTA Chairman and CEO Randy Julian, states, "We wholeheartedly support the PACT Act legislation introduced to fix the most onerous WHTI-related restrictions. We agree with you that our northern border is headed for a crisis if some common sense doesn’t prevail in our cross-border debate."


The PACT Act calls for the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a test case to determine if drivers licenses can meet the provisions of WHTI. It also exempts U.S. and Canadian citizens 16 years old and younger from the WHTI requirements. Additionally, Slaughter’s legislation sets the cost of the PASS card at $20 for the first year to encourage participation.


Other provisions include the expansion of the NEXUS and Free and Secure Trade program cards, which allow for faster border crossing for frequent visitors, and a requirement that the federal government launch a promotional campaign to build public awareness.


The National Tour Association was established in 1951 as a unified voice to fight legislation in the newly formed packaged travel industry. Today, NTA’s government relations activities include monitoring security issues, as well as state and federal legislation and regulatory issues affecting the travel and tourism industry. NTA maintains full-time representation in Washington, D.C., to serve as the association’s voice on Capitol Hill. Additionally, NTA empowers its members to be advocates for the association on the local level, as well as to provide support for NTA’s positions on national priority issues through its Grassroots Action Network. For more information on NTA’s government relations activities, please visit or call 800.682.8886.


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