NEWS RELEASE: Economist Stephen Moore: Reduce the U.S. Trade Deficit through Travel

White paper finds international travel directly supports American jobs and national output 

WASHINGTON – Today, the Visit U.S. Coalition applauded Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore’s white paper on international travel’s ability to reduce the U.S. trade deficit. The study found that “promoting and facilitating foreign tourism to the United States can be an effective way to increase American jobs and national output while reducing the nation’s trade deficit.” Moore’s white paper can be viewed here.

Among Moore’s findings, the growth rate of foreign visitor spending in the U.S. has fallen in comparison to other powerful nations. Moore makes the following suggestions to promote foreign tourism, which will reverse this trend, lower the trade deficit, and increase the GDP:

  • Expedite entry to the U.S. for families and business travelers by better targeting potential bad actors;
  • Expand the Visa Waiver Program and Global Entry system;
  • Have President Trump issue welcoming messages via public service announcements and international press briefings; and
  • Commit to a national goal of welcoming 100 million tourists by 2020 and 150 million by 2030.

“Dr. Moore’s analysis shows the direct impact of travel to the U.S. economy. By promoting America as a top tourist destination, we are investing in a powerhouse industry—projected to grow 1.3% faster per year than the entire economy. President Trump has already stated that ‘America is open for business,’ and we are excited to see a top economist championing travel as a key factor in our economic growth,” said Visit U.S. Coalition spokesman Amos Snead.

When international travelers visit the United States, their spending at hotels, restaurants, and retail stores totals nearly $250 billion per year. This economic activity supports approximately 1.2 million U.S. jobs and at least $30 billion in worker pay and benefits. In 2017, international tourism generated a $77 billion trade surplus—consequently reducing the U.S. trade deficit, valued at $552 billion, by 14 percent.Travel Busts the Deficit

The Visit U.S. Coalition has formed around the belief that Americans want both security and a robust economy – and can have both. Working alongside the White House and Congress in support of good-paying American jobs, Visit U.S. is committed to making America both the most secure and most-visited country in the world.

For more statistics on the economic impacts of travel, click here.