Promoting Global Travel and Transportation
EB/TRA aggressively promotes the liberalization of a safe, secure and efficient transportation sector to spur economic development, and expand opportunities for U.S. firms, jobs for U.S. workers, and benefits for U.S. consumers. EB/TRA does this through:
- Leading U.S. negotiations on Open Skies and other aviation liberalization agreements with nations around the world.
- Coordinating with the Department of Transportation to provide advice to the Secretary of Transportation on overall foreign policy and specific negotiations.
- Working closely with the Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, Defense, the National Economic Council, and other federal offices; foreign governments; international organization; and the private sector to protect and secure the transportation infrastructure, and ensure the safety of the people and goods that travel on it.
EB/TRA oversees air and maritime transport policy activities, working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, the Maritime Administration, and the Federal Maritime Commission. EB/TRA also supports the U.S. Mission to the International Civil Aviation Organization and the U.S. Representative to the International Maritime Organization.
Organization of Transportation Affairs
- Aviation Negotiations
The Office of Aviation Negotiations (TRA/AN) manages U.S. bilateral aviation relationships and, in close coordination with the Department of Transportation, Department of Commerce, and the private sector, conducts bilateral negotiations to liberalize commercial aviation. Since 1992, the office has negotiated “Open Skies” air transport agreements with over 125 foreign partners. In November 2000, the U.S. negotiated its first multilateral “Open Skies” air transport agreement. Both bilateral and multilateral agreements have dramatically liberalized the commercial environment for U.S. air carriers by removing most restrictions on competition. Where Open Skies agreements have not been possible to achieve, the Office of Aviation Negotiations has sought to renegotiate existing air transport agreements to expand the role of competitive forces and to maximize market access for U.S. air carriers.
- Transportation Policy
The Office of Transportation Policy (TRA/OTP) develops and coordinates policy on international civil aviation and maritime transport issues, including safety and security, commercial and operational problems encountered abroad, port access, environmental protection and accident investigations.
OTP participates in the development of policy on international civil aviation issues with broad substantive and/or multinational application, such as those involving the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the European Union (EU). In addition to safety and security, OTP coordinates policy on aviation preclearance, aircraft noise and exhaust emissions regulations, military-civil relations, technical assistance, accident investigations, and airworthiness of aircraft.
On the maritime front, OTP focuses on security issues, as well as on economic, political and technical developments affecting international shipping, and intermodal services, such as foreign legislation and policy, competition regulation, industry trends and commercial practices. OTP works closely with representatives of major U.S. and foreign shipping lines and their customers to resolve problems created by foreign restrictions. OTP officers also participate in meetings with maritime officials of other countries and in multilateral shipping meetings at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).