Migration balance tipped towards exporters

Congress is holding up money needed to help the US workforce for those travelling abroad to visit

The United States will be exporting more people overseas than importing them, possibly by a narrow margin, according to a report from the US Commerce Department (DoC) the New York Times.

The numbers, issued in February, are based on data from the International Air Transport Association, which says that 5.4 million tourists left the US in 2017 and 5.4 million arrived.

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For the first time in four years, the balance of travel is tipped toward the exportation. The DoC says as the US labour force ages, this trend will become entrenched and everyone who has ever lived in the US will have to make international trips.

The study also noted that the US’s global reputation was hurt by political isolationist actions by the Trump administration. The only country losing capacity was Russia, which decreased 4.7% to 1.4 million. The growth in Cuba was negligible at 1.1% to 817,000 visitors, though tourism has made significant gains this year.

George Wright, the director of the DoC, told the Times: “Economic data tell us we’re going to be competing much more globally – for travel and investment.”

Also on Tuesday, a petition filed with the US government collected 35,586 signatures calling for a return to open borders as a response to Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.

A note on the petition states that such systems should instead be funded from oil revenues. The petitioners, mostly expats from Asia, use the example of Mexico or Canada, which do not have walls between them, to suggest the US should adopt a market-based approach instead.

Trump has made strong statements on immigration throughout his first year in office, saying he is keeping out “bad hombres” and suggesting Mexico was going to pay for the wall. He has also said he wants to end automatic citizenship for children born in the US of immigrants.

Of his own family, the president has said his father was “terrified” of running the Trump Organization in an era when the Chinese government was allowing the Communist government to own property in the US.

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