Brazil and U.S. President urged to address expansion of Visa Waiver Program

Published on : Wednesday, July 1, 2015

U.S. Travel Association's Education SeminarThe U.S. Travel Association on Tuesday urged United States President Barack Obama and Brazil President Dilma Rousseff to discuss expanding the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and the Global Entry Program to include Brazil during their meetings this week. Admitting Brazil to both programs would produce immediate economic and security benefits for both countries, the association said.

 

U.S. Travel released an infographic making its case.

 

Expanding the VWP to Brazil would add nearly 650,000 new visitors to the U.S., increasing total visitation to more than 3 million in 2015. If Brazil received VWP status, it would add $7.6 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015, increasing total economic output to $35.4 billion that could support more than 176,000 American jobs. Admitting Brazil to the VWP would also include a number of security enhancements such as individualized pre-screening of travelers, greater information sharing, enhanced partnerships with law enforcement and intelligence services, and more secure passports.

 

U.S. Travel also urged both leaders to continue discussions on extending the Global Entry Program to expedite customs clearance in the United States for pre-vetted Brazilian citizens. Extending the Global Entry Program would be a significant incentive for frequent Brazilian visitors, particularly business travelers, to come to the United States.

 

“The VWP helps keep our country secure while facilitating international travel that adds billions in economic output and supports nearly one million jobs,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. “Brazil represents a crucial travel market, with both strong demand and financial means for international travel. Admitting Brazil to the VWP would generate record-breaking levels of reciprocal travel and positively impact the economy of both countries.”

 

The economic effect of admitting countries to the VWP is proven. After South Korea was admitted to the VWP, spending by South Korean visitors increased 52 percent from $2.7 billion in 2008 to $4.2 billion in 2012. During that time there was a 31 percent increase in direct flights between South Korea and the U.S. Over the next five years, South Korea visitation to the U.S. is projected to increase at an average of six percent annually.

 

Global Entry and the VWP are part of a layered approach to national security that protects the homeland and the traveling public and supports a resilient and robust economy. Countries participating in the VWP are the largest source of international travel to the United States. In 2014, more than 20.3 million travelers arrived through the VWP, generating $190 billion in economic output and supporting nearly one million jobs.

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