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U.S. kind(er) to foreign trade show visitors.

It looks like getting into the U.S. will get a bit easier for international visitors attending U.S.-based trade shows. Recently, U.S. President Barack Mama signed an executive order to facilitate inbound international travel.

The president's plans include expanding the reciprocal international trusted-travel program, adding Taiwan and other countries to the Visa Waiver Program, making visa processing more efficient (especially in Brazil and China) and appointing new members to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

He would also like the secretaries of Commerce and the Interior to lead a task force to help generate a "national travel and tourism strategy to promote domestic and international travel opportunities" throughout the U.S. The Department of Commerce is also responsible for managing a website for the public featuring vital information and statistics that will make it easier to understand visa processes in the U.S.

The executive order requires the State and Homeland Security Departments to interview 80 percent of all non-immigrant visa applicants within three weeks of receiving applications, thereby speeding up the visa process. In Brazil and China, the departments are charged with increasing visa processing capacity by 40 percent over this year. According to information from the State Department, visa issuances over the last five years have climbed 234 percent in Brazil and 124 percent in China. In 2011, the U.S. State Department issued. 17 percent more visas than it did during fiscal 2010.

As part of the effort to facilitate travel and visa processing, Commerce Secretary John Bryson appointed 32 private sector CEOs to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board to assess and improve issues associated with traveling.

The administration also plans to issue a final rule making the Global Entry program (a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the U.S.) permanent. 'I lie program will be expanded to airports in Charlotte, Denver, Minneapolis and Phoenix.
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Title Annotation:World
Comment:U.S. kind(er) to foreign trade show visitors.(World)
Publication:Video Age International
Date:May 1, 2012
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