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.

Nine U.S. Travel Association members attended the trade event, which featured Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Holleyman, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President Greg Nelson, Director and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Jeffrey Zients, Executive Director, National Trade and Tourism office, Department of Commerce Kelly Craighead and other senior executive branch personnel.

U.S. Travel members in attendance included Phil Brown, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority; Julie Chase, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau; Richard Constable, Wyndham Worldwide; Todd Davidson, Travel Oregon; Fred Dixon, NYC & Company; Jack Ferguson, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau; Alfredo Gonzalez, VISIT FLORIDA; Kevin Langston, Georgia Department of Economic Development; Ernest Wooden Jr., Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. U.S. Travel Association Vice President for Government Affairs Patricia Rojas-Ungár also attended.

Several pivotal trade measures are currently under consideration in both chambers of Congress—foremost among them Trade Promotion Authority, which would expedite the president’s negotiation of key agreements with international trading partners. U.S. Travel and its members earlier in this legislative session came out in strong support of the measure.

“We are grateful travel leaders from across the country have a seat at the table in discussing the unquestionable value expanded trade brings to the U.S. economy and to their local communities and businesses,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “We support the administration’s efforts to move the TPA forward, and encourage both chambers of Congress to pass the measure without delay. Sound trade agreements have profoundly benefited the national economy, helping generate $220 billion in travel exports in 2014 alone. Supporting and expanding such agreements with such evident economic benefits seems a no-brainer.”

Nationally, travel now accounts for more than 9 percent of all U.S. exports, and in 2014 accounted for one out of every eleven new U.S. export dollars. On its own, travel generated a trade surplus of $74 billion dollars last year, versus an overall U.S. trade deficit of $505 billion. Without travel, the overall U.S. trade deficit would have been 15 percent larger.

Learn more about the travel industry’s support for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation.


U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.4 trillion in economic output and supports 15.6 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org.