Citing travel and tourism's large contribution to the U.S. economy, four U.S. senators introduced a bipartisan bill to reauthorize Brand USA in 2020.
Funding for the public-private travel marketing organization is scheduled to expire in September 2020 because of the 2018 congressional budget cap agreement that diverted Brand USA's funding to general revenue. Brand USA uses no taxpayer funds: Its funding comes from international visitor fees and from the private sector through cash and in-kind contributions.
U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada) introduced the legislation on Tuesday, citing travel and tourism's contribution of jobs and funds to the U.S. economy.
"Whether it's tourists coming to visit the northern lakes of Minnesota or the Gateway Arch in Missouri, international tourism helps drive billions in sales every year and spurs economic growth in local communities across the country," stated Klobuchar.
The U.S. Travel Association applauded the move, citing an Oxford Economics study showing that Brand USA's marketing efforts over the past six years have generated 6.6 million incremental international visitors to the U.S. who spent $22 billion and supported an average of 52,000 incremental jobs annually.
"The renewal of Brand USA is critical to driving American jobs and exports, as well as travelers throughout the country," said Roger Dow, CEO of U.S. Travel. "This is smart policymaking in support of a proven program that will help sustain our economic expansion for years to come without cost to taxpayers."