U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the U.S. House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce’s hearing on “Investing in American Jobs: Legislation to Strengthen Manufacturing and Competitiveness,” which included the bipartisan Restoring Brand USA Act (H.R. 4594):
“As the U.S. reopens its borders to vaccinated individuals, Brand USA’s important work of promoting the U.S. to international visitors is more critical than ever.
“The steep declines in international travel, which have resulted in more than $250 billion in lost export income since the start of the pandemic, have decimated the program’s funding. The emergency relief provided by the bill, which utilizes existing funds and comes at no additional cost to American taxpayers, will help attract international visitors more quickly, shorten the recovery timeline and restore lost U.S. jobs. It is imperative that Congress moves quickly to pass the bill this year.
“U.S. Travel thanks Ranking Member Bilirakis and Representative Welch for their continued leadership on Brand USA, as well as Chairwoman Schakowsky and the rest of the subcommittee for holding this crucial hearing.”
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. Travelers in the United States are estimated to spend $1.1 trillion in 2022 (still 10% below 2019 levels). U.S. Travel advocates for policies to accelerate an even recovery across the travel industry and restore economic and job growth for this essential contributor to our nation’s success. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.