Office of the Press Secretary
The United States and APEC partners Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore will announce that they have agreed in principle on a Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalization of International Air Transport. This Agreement is the world's first multilateral "Open Skies" accord and is open to accession by all nations. The United States has negotiated bilateral "Open Skies" agreements with 50 countries, including Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. However, the Multilateral Agreement represents the first successful effort to expand this approach on a multinational basis, to promote safe, affordable and efficient air transport services worldwide. Aviation accounts for $1 trillion in global economic activity and 22 million jobs; an efficient air transport system is key to the expansion of international trade and commerce, including electronic commerce.
THE MULTILATERAL AGREEMENT WILL OFFER THREE IMPORTANT BENEFITS:
THE MULTILATERAL AGREEMENT IS THE LATEST IN A CONTINUING SERIES OF EFFORTS BY THE UNITED STATES TO LIBERALIZE INTERNATIONAL AIR SERVICES. Since the early 1990s, the United States has taken the lead in promoting an "Open Skies" policy to support a competitive global market for airline passengers and cargo. This policy has enabled the competitive U.S. airline industry to meet the growing demand for international air services and has resulted in lower prices and more service options for consumers worldwide. New agreements negotiated by United States since 1992 have liberalized more than 60 percent of U.S. international aviation traffic, allowing customer demand and marketplace competition to determine the variety, quality, quantity and price of air services.
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