David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on today's Commerce Department announcement on international trade:“The Commerce Department reported today that after falling slightly in April,
U.S. exports edged up in May, decreasing the trade deficit to $48.7 billion. Travel exports also rebounded in May, increasing by $60 million. This growth was three times more than the $20 million increase in overall goods exports and accounted for 17 percent of the increase in total exports.
“The growth in travel exports continues to assist in narrowing the nation’s international trade deficit. Through the first five months of the year, travel exports increased 12 percent from the same period in 2011, double the six percent increase of overall exports.
“While the upturn in travel exports in May was a welcome turnaround from April’s decline, the increase was rather modest compared to increases in the first quarter of year and likely reflects the economic troubles in Europe.
“The latest Commerce report underscores the need to enact legislation, such as the JOLT Act, to increase international travel to the United States. Travel has proven itself to be one of the key drivers to our nation’s economic recovery. Streamlining the visa process, expanding the visa waiver program and improving the entry process will create much-needed American jobs and contribute billions to the U.S. economy.”