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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 15 (Tuesday, January 24, 2012)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 3373-3375]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-1568]




                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 77 , No. 15 / Tuesday, January 24, 2012 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 3373]]


                Executive Order 13597 of January 19, 2012

                
Establishing Visa and Foreign Visitor Processing 
                Goals and the Task Force On Travel and Competitiveness

                By the authority vested in me as President by the 
                Constitution and the laws of the United States of 
                America, and to improve visa and foreign visitor 
                processing and travel promotion in order to create jobs 
                and spur economic growth in the United States, while 
                continuing to protect our national security, it is 
                hereby ordered as follows:

                Section 1. Policy. The travel and tourism industry is 
                one of our Nation's leading service sectors and sources 
                of exports. However, the U.S. market share of spending 
                by international travelers fell from 17 percent to 11 
                percent of the global market from 2000 to 2010, more 
                than a 30 percent decrease in our share of the global 
                market. This decrease was due primarily to increased 
                international competition, changing patterns in global 
                development, and, to some degree, more stringent 
                security requirements imposed after 2001. Given the 
                importance of the travel and tourism industry to the 
                U.S. economy and job creation, a coordinated policy, 
                consistent with protecting our national security, is 
                needed to support a prosperous and secure travel and 
                tourism industry in the United States.

                Steady progress has been made since 2010, when my 
                Administration launched the National Export Initiative 
                and the Travel Promotion Act was signed into law. While 
                our processes for moving people and goods across our 
                borders are now both more secure and more efficient, 
                new initiatives are needed to enable us to better 
                capitalize on the economic opportunities presented by a 
                dynamic 21st century travel and tourism industry.

                Sec. 2. Visa and Foreign Visitor Processing. (a) The 
                Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and 
                Counterterrorism shall, consistent with Presidential 
                Policy Directive 1 or any successor documents and in 
                coordination with the Assistant to the President and 
                Cabinet Secretary, maintain an interagency process for 
                coordinating the implementation of regulatory 
                improvements and the evaluation of legislative 
                proposals to enhance and expedite travel to and arrival 
                in the United States by foreign nationals, consistent 
                with national security requirements.

                    (b) The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, 
                in consultation with the Assistant to the President for 
                Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the Director of 
                the Office of Management and Budget, and the heads of 
                such agencies as appropriate, shall develop an 
                implementation plan, within 60 days of the date of this 
                order, describing actions to be undertaken, including 
                those that build upon efforts underway, to achieve the 
                following:

(i) increase nonimmigrant visa processing capacity in China and Brazil by 
40 percent over the coming year;

(ii) ensure that 80 percent of nonimmigrant visa applicants are interviewed 
within 3 weeks of receipt of application, recognizing that resource and 
security considerations and the need to ensure provision of consular 
services to U.S. citizens may dictate specific exceptions;

(iii) increase efforts to expand the Visa Waiver Program and travel by 
nationals of Visa Waiver Program participants; and

(iv) expand reciprocal recognition programs for expedited travel, such as 
the Global Entry program.

[[Page 3374]]

                    This plan should also identify other appropriate 
                measures that will enhance and expedite travel to and 
                arrival in the United States by foreign nationals, 
                consistent with national security requirements, as well 
                as any potential challenges in achieving the stated 
                goals of this subsection.
                    (c) Within 180 days of the date of this order, and 
                periodically thereafter, the Secretaries of State and 
                Homeland Security shall jointly submit through the 
                Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and 
                Counterterrorism a report to the President describing 
                the progress on achieving the goals set forth in this 
                section (as well as areas of concern or barriers to 
                achieving those goals) to ensure the country remains 
                secure while increasing travel and tourism to the 
                United States.
                    (d) The Secretary of Commerce shall establish and 
                maintain a publicly available website that provides 
                updated metrics from across the Federal Government to 
                assist industry and travelers in understanding the 
                current status of the industry and its relevance to the 
                economy, statistics on visa processes in key travel and 
                tourism markets, and entry times into the United 
                States.

                Sec. 3. Task Force on Travel and Competitiveness. (a) A 
                Task Force on Travel and Competitiveness (Task Force) 
                is hereby established to develop the National Travel 
                and Tourism Strategy described in this section. The 
                Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior shall serve as 
                Co-Chairs of the Task Force. The Task Force shall also 
                include the heads of the following executive 
                departments and agencies (agencies), or senior level 
                officials designated by them:

(i) Department of State;

(ii) Department of the Treasury;

(iii) Department of Agriculture;

(iv) Department of Labor;

(v) Department of Transportation;

(vi) Department of Homeland Security;

(vii) Army Corps of Engineers;

(viii) Office of the United States Trade Representative;

(ix) Export-Import Bank; and

(x) Other agencies invited to participate by the Task Force Co-Chairs.

                    (b) The Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior, 
                in consultation with the Director of the Office of 
                Management and Budget, the Assistant to the President 
                for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the 
                Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the 
                Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, shall 
                coordinate the overall work of the Task Force and 
                assist its members in performing the responsibilities 
                described herein.
                    (c) The Task Force shall develop a National Travel 
                and Tourism Strategy with recommendations for new 
                policies and initiatives to promote domestic and 
                international travel opportunities throughout the 
                United States with the goal of increasing the United 
                States market share of worldwide travel, including 
                obtaining a greater share of long-haul travel from 
                Brazil, China, and India. Such recommendations shall 
                include, among other things, strategies to promote 
                visits to the United States public lands, waters, 
                shores, monuments, and other iconic American 
                destinations, thereby expanding job creation in the 
                United States. The Task Force shall also consider 
                recommendations to promote and expand travel and 
                tourism opportunities in rural communities. In 
                addition, the National Travel and Tourism Strategy 
                shall identify any barriers to increasing the United 
                States market share of worldwide travel, and any other 
                related areas of concern. The Task Force shall deliver 
                the National Travel and Tourism Strategy to the 
                President within 90 days of the date of this order.
                    (d) The Task Force, through the Secretary of 
                Commerce, shall also coordinate with the Corporation 
                for Travel Promotion (currently doing business

[[Page 3375]]

                as Brand USA, a nonprofit corporation established by 
                the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 to promote travel to 
                the United States) and the Tourism Policy Council, 
                established by the United States National Tourism 
                Organization Act of 1996. The Secretary of Commerce 
                shall serve as the liaison between the Task Force and 
                the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board 
                (Board) chartered by the Secretary and shall consider 
                the Board's advice in his or her role with the Task 
                Force.
                    (e) The Tourism Policy Council coordinates policies 
                concerning travel promotion and ensures consistency and 
                cooperation among agencies, as set forth in the United 
                States National Tourism Organization Act of 1996. The 
                Task Force shall consult with the Tourism Policy 
                Council where appropriate to facilitate the development 
                of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy.

                Sec. 4. General Provisions.  (a) This order shall be 
                implemented consistent with applicable law, and subject 
                to the availability of appropriations.

                    (b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to 
                impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the 
head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

                    (c) This order is not intended to, and does not, 
                create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, 
                enforceable at law or in equity by any party against 
                the United States, its departments, agencies, or 
                entities its officers, employees, or agents, or any 
                other person. 
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    January 19, 2012.

[FR Doc. 2012-1568
Filed 1-23-12; 8:45 am]
Billing code 3295-F2-P



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