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Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

A 4% decrease in international travelers to the U.S. has resulted in a 3.3% drop in travel spending since President Trump took office, reported NBC News

Be smart: Travel to the U.S. actually started to decrease in 2016, before Trump’s presidency.  The gradual decline could be travel rates adjusting after the unprecedented rate of travel earlier this decade. 

The breakdown:

  • $4.6 billion in lost spending
  • 40,000 jobs lost
  • The U.S. is no longer second-most popular traveling destination. (France is first, followed by Spain)

Experts link the decline to the Trump administration’s hard rhetoric on immigration, proposed travel bans and a weak U.S. dollar.

Two possible solutions:

  1. Travel industry has plans to create a "Visit U.S. Coalition" to entice foreign visitors back to the U.S., according to LA Times.  
  2. Add personnel at customs and visa offices to reduce wait times for people who do want to travel to the U.S.

Go deeper

13 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.