Poland Is a Logical Next Addition to the Visa Waiver Program
June 12, 2019 By Tori Emerson Barnes, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Policy, U.S. Travel Association
A U.S. Travel fact sheet shows Poland’s addition to the Visa Waiver Program could generate $720 million in economic output annually within three years.
Polish President Andrzej Duda met with President Trump at the White House in June—and the two leaders picked up right where they left off with regard to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
Speaking in a joint press conference in the Rose Garden, Trump reiterated his administration’s commitment to adding Poland to the VWP, stating, “Though we still have some work to do, we hope to welcome Poland into the VWP very soon—and that’s a very big deal.”
A U.S. Travel fact sheet hows that adding Poland to the VWP would be an economic boon—not to mention the benefit to the security relationship between the two countries.
Polish visitation to the U.S. increased 53% between 2013 and 2018, making it one of the fastest-growing European inbound travel markets. That growth could swell significantly if Poland joins the VWP. Within three years of joining the VWP, the U.S. could expect an additional 97,000 Polish arrivals annually and $312 million in spending, which would produce nearly $720 million in economic output and support 4,200 jobs.
Importantly, adding Poland—a key U.S. ally—to the VWP would increase security cooperation between the two nations. The stringent standards to which VWP countries must adhere—such as information sharing about known criminals or persons of interest—make travel to the U.S. safer, all while elevating security in participating nations.
Acting on legislation such as the JOLT Act (H.R. 2187) would strengthen the VWP by creating a pathway for countries that meet our security requirements—like Poland—to join the program.
As Trump and Duda continue their discussions around security and trade, Poland’s admittance to the VWP should be a top priority. Poland is a logical next addition to the program, and its admittance would further strengthen economic and security ties between our two nations.
In This The Itinerary
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