What is House Bill H.R. 951?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 951
In-Depth: This bill was introduced by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) to boost tourism from Mexico to the U.S.
In a letter to Rep. Cuellar, the American Dental Association (ADA) expressed concerns about this bill’s potential to increase dental tourism from the U.S. to Mexico:
“[This bill] would expand the tourism industries in the United States and Mexico by emphasizing exchanges in various sectors, including dental care. The Secretary of State would develop a strategy to develop this type of tourism, including fostering partnerships between dental institutions in the United States and Mexico. The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) serves the oral health needs of the public through the development and administration of standards that foster continuous quality improvement of dental and dental-related educational programs. Accreditation ensures academic quality and public accountability… Currently, no Mexican dental schools are accredited through CODA… We believe that, until Mexican programs have received CODA accreditation, U.S. dental institutions should not build relationships with Mexican institutions for the purpose of having patients visit Mexican facilities for treatment. The patient sense of security mentioned in [this bill] cannot be guaranteed without CODA accreditation. We urge you to include this in your legislation. Additionally, when assessing the feasibility of building partnerships among dental institutions between the United States and Mexico, we urge the United States to consider other factors critical to patient safety, such as licensure of dentists and facilities following accepted asepsis, infection control and biohazard control protocols. These safeguards are critical components to dental care that patients in the United States take for granted. Lack of attention to these details may lead to a false sense of security for patients seeking care outside of the United States.”
Of Note: Mexican tourism to the U.S. peaked in 2016, with Mexican tourists accounting for 24.9% (19 million) of all visitors to the U.S. that year and spending $20.3 billion. Since 2016, Mexican tourism to the U.S. has declined each year, even as overall international tourism to the U.S. has increased. In 2017, there was a 6.1% decline in Mexican visitors to the U.S., costing the U.S. $1.24 billion in revenue.
Mexico has slashed funding intended to promote inbound tourism. It’s also expected to close all of the Mexico Tourism Board’s international tourism offices in favor of building a Yucatan rail line connecting tourist destinations in the country.
The High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) between the U.S. and Mexico was established in 2013 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Peña Nieto to serve as a flexible platform for advancing strategic and commercial priorities central to promoting mutual economic growth, job creation and global competitiveness. The HLED has three strategic priority areas: 1) promoting competitiveness and connectivity; 2) fostering economic growth, productivity and innovation; and 3) partnering for regional and global leadership.
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Orbon Alija)
United States-Mexico Tourism Improvement Act of 2019
To promote bilateral tourism through cooperation between the United States and Mexico.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
Committee on Foreign Relations
- senate Committees
- The house has not voted
Committee on Foreign AffairsWestern Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and TradeIntroducedFebruary 4th, 2019
- house Committees