There’s been one tangible effect that Trump has had on the economy since becoming president: a hamstrung tourism industry.
Compared to the same block of time time last year, the period from Trump’s election to present has witnessed a stunning 16% drop in international tourism to the United States. During this same period, tourism across the world actually grew by 6%. This is a worrying blow to a vital industry that is likely connected to the country’s increasing isolation from the rest of the world.
With a rallying cry of “America First,” – which harkens back to the slogan of an antisemitic isolationist organization from the first half of the 20th century – Trump has vilified the rest of the world in order to shore up support among his rabidly nationalist base. During his recent trip abroad, he insulted long-standing allies, resulting in Angela Merkel declaring that “the times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over,” something that she learned “in the last few days” in meetings with Trump.
Everyday Europeans shared these sentiments ahead of Trump’s visit, with pundits jumping into the fray as well. Writing for Der Spiegel, Klaus Brinkbäumer did not mince words in the wake of Trump’s embarrassing trip – during which he physically shoved the Prime Minister of Montenegro and said that the Germans are “bad, very bad.”
The U.S. elected a laughing stock to the presidency and has now made itself dependent on a joke of a man…The Trump administration has no foreign policy because Trump has consistently promised American withdrawal while invoking America’s strength. He has promised both no wars and more wars. He makes decisions according to his mood, with no strategic coherence or tactical logic. Moscow and Beijing are laughing at America. Elsewhere, people are worried.
While the longterm ramifications of these foibles on the international stage could be dire from a geopolitical stand point, the United States is seeing already seeing an impact on its economy. Amidst the hysteria that the Trump Administration has whipped up over Islamic extremism and its effort to enact a racist travel ban, the rest of the world is looking at the United States and seeing a rudderless superpower pulsating with jingoism and hate. In other words, not an ideal tourism stop.
Combine this with the fact the Trump is aiming to destroy the U.S. Travel Association and its nonprofit partnership program Brand USA, and it appears as if the administration is waging all out war on the tourism industry.