Washington D.C. – Following efforts by Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) and Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04), legislation enabling Minnesota’s bid to host the World’s Fair in 2023, was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives today. This bill, The U.S. Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act, boasts the entire Minnesota delegation as cosponsors.
World’s Fairs or Expos are meant to highlight all that a country has to offer, particularly when it comes to science, technology and innovation. While the United States excels in these areas, the last time we hosted a World’s Fair was in 1984. Despite being a founding member of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organization in charge of overseeing and regulating World Expos, the United States withdrew in 2001, and has not been considered as a potential host country since.
The U.S. Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act (H.R. 534) remedies this problem by granting the Secretary of State the authority to rejoin the BIE, so cities like Minneapolis and others around the country have the chance to complete in hosting a World’s Expo. H.R. 534 authorizes the use of private funds to pay outstanding, as well as future, membership dues and maintains safeguards which prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to fund a United States pavilion or exhibit at an international exposition or World’s Fair.
“By rejoining the BIE, Minnesota, and the United States as a whole, will be one step closer to being able to highlight our innovative spirit and incredible success stories on a global stage,” said Emmer. “Minnesota is a great state with a lot to offer, and hosting a World’s Fair or Expo is an incredible opportunity to bring people, revenue and tax dollars to Minnesota, all while showing off our state’s natural beauty and incredible people. Additionally, I am proud this bill ensures taxpayer protections at a time when there is so much waste. I am excited that we are closer to realizing the dream of Minnesota hosting the World’s Fair, and I am glad to have the support of the entire Minnesota delegation.”
“This bill is a bipartisan solution that levels the playing field and lets Minnesota and the United States compete. By ending our harmful, self-imposed isolation from the BIE, the United States will once again be in a position to host a World Expo and showcase the innovation, culture, and beauty of our great nation,” said McCollum. “Minnesota’s bid intends to focus on health innovation based on the theme Wellness and Well-Being for All. Minnesota’s health care industry is advanced, global, and innovative – and it deserves the spotlight. Hosting the World Expo in 2023 would be a remarkable event for the people of our state and today we are moving forward to that goal.”
A 2016 economic analysis indicates that Minnesota hosting the 2023 World Expo would attract 12 million visitors, create almost 22,000 jobs, yield $185.3 million in State and Local tax revenue and generate $1.5 billion in total economic benefits. Additionally, the U.S. State Department voiced its support for H.R. 534 in a letter saying the bill is "consistent with the President's policy to promote domestic job growth and American innovation." To read the letter, click here.
To view the full text of H.R. 534, click here.