In June 2015, Congress approved bipartisan legislation to grant the President Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), an essential tool for negotiating trade agreements. TPA helps ensure a rules-based system for two-way trade, and that American workers and businesses—including America’s travel businesses—get the best deal out of new trade agreements. Free trade encourages companies to expand internationally, which can help stimulate important business travel to the U.S. and help our economy. U.S. Travel was proud to support this initiative during the congressional session.

Quick Facts

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) allows Congress to set the parameters for the President in conducting trade negotiations. In exchange for laying out the terms it wants to see in agreements, under TPA Congress agrees to conduct an up or down vote on trade agreements within 90 days.

Free trade encourages companies to expand internationally, which can help stimulate business travel to the U.S. During the first five years following implementation of recent free trade agreements, the average annual growth rate of international visitation to the U.S. accelerated compared to the five years prior to implementation: Australia (21% faster), Colombia (139% faster), Singapore (50% faster), and South Korea (67% faster).

Travel experts report that more international visitors participate in U.S. trade shows and conventions—an important segment of America’s robust travel economy—as a result of free trade agreements. Foreign exhibitors and buyers spend on average, more than $36,100 each and $13,600 each, respectively attending U.S. exhibitions. In 2010, Oxford Economics estimated that international visitors constitute up to 5% of total U.S. exhibition meetings.

Every $1 million in international traveler spending in the U.S. directly supported nine American jobs in the travel industry in 2014. That is more than four times the number of farm jobs or manufacturing jobs supported by every $1 million in agricultural or manufacturing exports.

Quick Facts

  • 31

    %

    Increase in travel exports from 2010 to 2014.
    During the same period, U.S. GDP grew 16 percent in current dollars, and overall exports of goods and services during that time was only 26 percent.
  • $74B

    Travel and tourism industry trade surplus in 2014.
    The U.S. had a trade deficit of $505 billion during the same year.  Without the travel and tourism trade surplus, the U.S. trade deficit would have been nearly 15 percent greater.
  • $6B

    U.S. travel exports to Australia in 2014.
    Travel ranks as the No. 1 U.S. industry export to Australia, accounting for 13% of all exports to the country.

Research, News and Commentary on Trade Promotion Authority

Trade Promotion Authority Issue

Expanded Trade Increases Travel's Contribution to the Economy

December 17, 2015

Trade Promotion Authority will strengthen America's Travel Economy

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Trade Promotion Authority Issue

Travel Leaders Laud TPA Cloture

June 23, 2015

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on the Senate’s successful cloture vote that removes remaining obstacles to passage of Trade Promotion Authority:

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Policy: Image of the Capitol steps, Washington, DC

Travel Community Dismayed by TPA Rejection in Senate

May 12, 2015

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on the U.S. Senate’s failure to advance Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) on a procedural vote:

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Policy: Image of the Capitol, Washington, DC

Travel Leaders Confer with White House on U.S. Trade Agreements

April 30, 2015

Travel leaders from across the country visited the White House Wednesday to brief key Obama Administration officials on the value of international trade to local and regional economies.

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Trade Promotion Authority Issue

Travel Leaders Urge Action on TPA

April 16, 2015

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement supporting the introduction of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation in Congress:

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