U.S. Chamber of Commerce Calls for Reciprocity on U.S.-E.U. Travel

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling for reciprocity on the reopening of United States-European Union travel. Earlier in June, the E.U. recommended to its member states that they reopen tourism to the U.S., along with 13 other countries “subject to confirmation of reciprocity.”

Previously, the Biden Administration had announced the formation of “expert working groups” to determine how to safely restart travel with the E.U., United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico. With that said, there has been no announcement from the Administration to offer reciprocal access for Europeans should their countries open to Americans.

Marjorie Chorlins, U.S. Chamber senior vice president for European affairs, issued the following statement urging the U.S. government to lift restrictions on European travelers to the United States: “During President Biden’s trip to Brussels last week, the United States and European Union agreed to establish a task force to work toward safely resuming transatlantic travel. Since then, the E.U. has advised its members to gradually lift the travel restrictions on U.S. travelers in recognition of the improved epidemiological situation and overall response to COVID-19 in the United States.

“We call on the Administration to reciprocate and allow for the return of European travelers to the United States as soon as possible. The resumption of safe transatlantic travel is critically important for our nation’s economic recovery, as in-person business engagements and international tourism will help drive economic growth and job creation for Americans across the country.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest organization to call for the reopening of transatlantic travel. Another such group included the CEOs of all airlines that offer U.K.-U.S. passenger services, including American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. The group noted the strong vaccination programs in both countries as an opportunity to enable consumers on both sides of the Atlantic to reconnect with loved ones, re-establish business relationships and explore new destinations after more than a year of lockdowns and restrictions.

In addition, with “summer” officially started, the World Travel and Tourism Council says that more than 2 million jobs in the U.S. could be created if international travel reopens. It added, however, if current restrictions continue and international travel is not allowed to resume at a greater capacity over the next few months, the potential U.S. job recovery will be cut in half—to only 1 million generated.

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