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

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U.S. Travel Applauds Brand USA Bill Committee Passage

November 17, 2021

U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce passing the Restoring Brand USA Act (H.R. 4594).

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U.S. Travel Praises China Trade Progress

October 17, 2019

U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Barnes issued the following statement on the Trump administration's announcement on trade talks with China:

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State of the Travel Industry 2019

January 28, 2019

Our industry remains in a strong position to capitalize on opportunity and navigate headwinds in the year ahead.

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