Travel Industry Hails Trans-Pacific Partnership

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On Monday, the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries reached a deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a sweeping free trade agreement that would eliminate taxes and tariffs on many of the goods exchanged between the 12 TPP nations: the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Supporters, including President Barack Obama, argue that the partnership will boost the U.S. economy by stimulating international demand for U.S. goods, such as cars and agriculture. Opponents, however, worry that the TPP will cause domestic job losses.

The travel industry came out squarely on the side of the former yesterday, praising the 12-nation agreement that the president must now sell to Congress, whose support is required to make the TPP law.

"With inbound international visitation counting as the U.S.'s third-largest industry export, the travel community knows well the value of trade. The 11 other countries that will join the U.S. in the TPP sent 46.3 million visitors to the U.S. in 2014, accounting for 62 percent of all international inbound visitation that year. There is little question that the TPP, since it will result in more business being conducted between the U.S. and these partners, will cause those figures to grow considerably," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "The knock on open trade is what it does to jobs domestically, and policymakers' concern about that is understandable. But travel supports one in nine American jobs, and inbound international travel in particular is a magical elixir for our industry's employment numbers: A new job is created for every 34 overseas visitors that arrives here -- good-paying jobs that cannot be outsourced. We hope that Congress embraces the large preponderance of data showing that trade is a major net-benefit both for the overall economy and job creation, and moves the TPP forward with all haste."

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