AAHOA, AH&LA react to President Trump's State of the Union

Photo credit: Getty Images/Bill Chizek

Following President Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, both the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association released statements in support of the President’s call for bipartisan efforts to improve the U.S. economy and maintain ongoing job growth. Other highlights of the speech included statements in support of infrastructure growth and workforce development.

“[During his speech], President Trump laid out his agenda to seek bipartisan solutions for balanced immigration reform that increases our border security, continue job creation and economic growth. The hotel industry has been one of the key drivers of economic growth, supporting more than 8 million jobs and generating $1.1 trillion in annual economic activity. The strength of our industry comes from the diversity of the people who serve our global guests, and we encourage the President to work with Congress to find a workable solution to our immigration system,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the AH&LA, said in a statement.

His statement continued: “Looking forward, we appreciate the President’s focus on rebuilding America’s infrastructure. The lodging industry recognizes how vital modernization of our nation's infrastructure is to a vibrant travel and tourism sector, with hotels generating $167 billion in federal, state, and local taxes, and guests spending $238 billion on transportation, dining, shopping and other activities at local businesses during their stays. We will work with the broader business community and other stakeholders to ensure that the infrastructure plan meets the needs of our industry.

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“We commend the President for his commitment to providing opportunities for workforce development and job training. America’s hotels, inns, and bed & breakfasts support more than 8 million jobs, both on-site and throughout the country, totaling $355 billion in annual labor income. AHLA strongly seeks to advance policies that support communities by fostering job growth and economic opportunities. That’s why at AHLA we launched a new campaign, Hospitality is Working, which is dedicated to enrolling 50,000 apprentices, certifying 125,000 employees and job seekers, and training 8,000 Opportunity Youth for careers in our industry within the next five years. We look forward to working with President Trump, his administration, and members of Congress to advance our common goals and foster a national environment of opportunity for all.”

Rachel Humphrey, interim president and CEO of AAHOA, also shared reaction to President Trump’s address:

“The State of the Union address presents a unique opportunity to showcase the nation’s achievements and a pathway to overcome the obstacles we still face. With a strong economy, full employment, lower taxes and a new Congress committed to strengthening our institutions, Americans have much about which to be optimistic,” Humphrey said. “However, obstacles remain. The recent partial government shutdown is a reminder that we need all our elected officials to work together to address the real issues affecting out nation. The travel industry lost an estimated $100 million for every day the government was shut down—hoteliers, small business owners, and our nation simply cannot afford broken government that refuses to do its job. 

“In just a few weeks, America’s hoteliers will visit their elected officials in Congress and share with them their stories of small business success and educate them on the issues that matter most to our industry. We are heartened by President Trump’s words tonight, but we remain wary of the potential for continued divisions between the president and the congress and the negative impacts on our economy.”