U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s joint communique renewing their commitment to expanding visa-free travel to and from Brazil:
“We are pleased that President Obama and President Rousseff have renewed their commitment to expanding the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to Brazil and applaud them for setting a timeline to include Brazil in the Global Entry Program. Admitting Brazil to both programs would enhance security, and at the same time generate record-breaking levels of reciprocal travel and positively impact the economy of both countries.
“Brazil represents a crucial travel market, with both strong demand and financial means for international travel. 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. More international visitors equals more American jobs and immediate economic benefits. Admitting Brazil to the VWP would also improve national security with mandated 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 has long advocated for expansion of the VWP and Global Entry Program to Brazil. While this week’s discussion on expansion of these programs to Brazil is a step in the right direction, we will continue to urge the governments of both countries to take definitive steps in furthering Brazil’s entrance into the VWP and Global Entry Program. Specifically we urge both governments to continue advancing discussions around VWP by meeting regularly and setting benchmarks for meeting the program requirements.”