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A4A Supports Meehan Amendment Requiring Competitive Impact Review of CBP Preclearance Facility Agreements

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 5:36 PM


Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today applauded the unanimous passage of an amendment offered by Congressman Pat Meehan (R-PA), requiring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review and report on both the safety and competitive impact of reimbursement agreements with foreign governments for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance facilities. The Meehan amendment was agreed to by the House Committee on Homeland Security during consideration of the Border Security Results Act of 2013.

Last week, a bipartisan group of 11 Senators sent a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano demanding answers on the agency’s decision to establish a preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport, a facility no U.S. carrier serves. The letter expressed significant concerns over the agency’s authority to enter into the agreement, as well as the dangerous precedent it sets. This follows a letter spearheaded by Reps. Meehan and DeFazio (D-OR), and signed by 150 bipartisan members of the House, which also expressed concern about the competitive disadvantage a CBP preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi would have on the U.S. airline industry.

Airlines for America has consistently advocated that DHS use its resources to focus on addressing lengthy wait times at several U.S. gateway airports, which inconvenience U.S. citizens and discourage travel to the United States.

“We thank Congressman Meehan (R-PA) for his leadership to ensure the U.S. government is not signing deals that benefit foreign governments and foreign competitors at the expense of U.S. workers, airlines and our economy,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “The unanimous support for the Meehan amendment further demonstrates the growing concerns lawmakers have over the misguided Abu Dhabi agreement that makes it easier to enter the United States from Abu Dhabi than it is from JFK.”

Calio also noted that domestic CBP facilities are partially funded by the airlines and passengers entering the United States through $1.5 billion in annual taxes they pay.

ABOUT A4A

Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. A4A airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. America needs a cohesive National Airline Policy that will support the integral role the nation’s airlines play in connecting people and goods globally, spur the nation’s economic growth and create more high-paying jobs.

For more information about the airline industry, visit www.airlines.org and follow us on Twitter @airlinesdotorg.

For more information about the National Airline Policy campaign:
Visit: www.nationalairlinepolicy.com
Twitter: @Natl_Air_Policy
Facebook: facebook.com/nationalairlinepolicy

(Source: Business Wire )
(Source: Quotemedia)

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