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Why form an LLC in the first place?


  • Advantages - 
    • It provides the protection of limited liability. In the event there is ever a dispute, your exposure would tend to be limited to the assets of the LLC. So your other assets should enjoy some measure of protection. Read more here - http://www.derrenjoseph.com/2017/05/are-you-non-american-nra-and-own-us.html
    • Under certain circumstances, it could be more tax efficient than holding investments in your own name. Remember US situs assets may ordinarily be subject to income tax, capital gains tax, and estate tax (tax on the death of the owner). Read more here - http://www.derrenjoseph.com/2017/05/are-you-non-american-nra-and-own-us.html
    • Certain structures involving an LLC may allow greater privacy than holding investments in your own name. Read more here - http://www.derrenjoseph.com/2017/04/is-usa-new-tax-haven.html
    • Can be set up with just one natural person involved or, in some states, one owner which may be an entity itself. 
    • No requirement of an annual general meeting for shareholders (in some states, such as Tennessee and Minnesota, this statement is not correct). 
    • No loss of power to a board of directors (although an operating agreement may provide for centralization of management power in a board or similar body). 
    • LLCs are enduring legal business entities, with lives that extend beyond the illness or even death of their owners, thus avoiding problematic business termination or sole proprietor death. 
    • Membership interests of LLCs can be assigned, and the economic benefits of those interests can be separated and assigned, providing the assignee with the economic benefits of distributions of profits/losses (like a partnership), without transferring the title to the membership interest (e.g., see Virginia and Delaware LLC Acts).
  • Characteristics –
    • Ownership Rules - Unlimited number of members allowed
    • Personal Liability of the Owners - Generally no personal liability of the members 
    • Tax Treatment - The entity is not taxed (unless it elects to be taxed as a corporation); profits and losses are passed through to the members 
    • Key Documents Needed for Formation - Articles of Organization / Certificate of Formation; Operating Agreement 
    • Management of the Business - The Operating Agreement sets forth how the business is to be managed; a Member (owner) or Manager can be designated to manage the business 
    • Capital Contributions - The members typically contribute money or services to the LLC and receive an interest in profits and losses 

So in short, for most foreign investors in US business activity, an LLC is a smart move


Generally, there is no restriction in state LLC laws that limit who can form a limited liability company or who can own a membership interest in an LLC.
  • A non-resident of the U.S. is free to form an LLC under the laws of any state he chooses. 
  • An entity based outside the U.S. may form and own a limited liability company in the United States. 
  • There is no requirement that the activities of the LLC be managed from within the United States or even that its activities be conducted within the United States. 
  • A foreign individual can form and operate his LLC from wherever he happens to be. 


Although a non-resident of the U.S. can form and own an LLC generally, there are some restrictions on ownership of certain entities under various state laws that may restrict ownership for reasons other than citizenship or residency. For example, state law may require that all members of an LLC engaging in the practice of medicine be licensed physicians in that state or all members of an LLC engaging in the practice of law be licensed attorneys.


Now we can discuss the steps in forming an LLC
  1. The first step is to have a conversation with your preferred US qualified tax professional or US qualified financial adviser. They would help advise on the right state and LLC structure. 
  2. The second step is to find a Resident Agent and/or a Resident Manager to take the legal steps needed to register an LLC on your behalf. 
  3. The third step, is to get an ITIN or a US Tax ID. This is especially needed for those foreign investors who want to structure the LLC as a tax transparent entity. Failure to get a tax ID may mean that your LLC may be subject to extra Federal taxes on certain distributions (double taxation). Here’s more info on the ITIN - http://www.derrenjoseph.com/2016/02/so-you-need-itin.html
  4. Secure an EIN or a Tax ID for the LLC 
  5. If necessary, consult an attorney to structure an operating agreement specific to your business activity
  6. Ensure that you have an adviser to ensure that annual compliance requirements are met at both the Federal and State level 

Our firm assists Foreign Investors who wish to take advantage of great investment opportunities in the USA. Contact us today!
The United States of America has separate federal, state, and local government(s) with taxes imposed at each of these levels. Taxes are levied on income, payroll, property, sales, capital gains, dividends, imports, estates and gifts, as well as various fees. In 2010, taxes collected by federal, state, and municipal governments amounted to 24.8% of GDP. In the OECD, only Chile and Mexico are taxed less as a share of their GDP.

However, taxes fall much more heavily on labor income than on capital income. Divergent taxes and subsidies for different forms of income and spending can also constitute a form of indirect taxation of some activities over others. For example, individual spending on higher education can be said to be "taxed" at a high rate, compared to other forms of personal expenditure which are formally recognized as investments.

Taxes are imposed on net income of individuals and corporations by the federal, most state, and some local governments. Citizens and residents are taxed on worldwide income and allowed a credit for foreign taxes. Income subject to tax is determined under tax accounting rules, not financial accounting principles, and includes almost all income from whatever source. Most business expenses reduce taxable income, though limits apply to a few expenses. Individuals are permitted to reduce taxable income by personal allowances and certain non-business expenses, including home mortgage interest, state and local taxes, charitable contributions, and medical and certain other expenses incurred above certain percentages of income. State rules for determining taxable income often differ from federal rules. Federal tax rates vary from 10% to 39.6% of taxable income. State and local tax rates vary widely by jurisdiction, from 0% to 13.30% of income, and many are graduated. State taxes are generally treated as a deductible expense for federal tax computation. In 2013, the top marginal income tax rate for a high-income California resident would be 52.9%.

The United States is one of two countries in the world that taxes its non-resident citizens on worldwide income, in the same manner and rates as residents; the other is Eritrea. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of imposition of such a tax in the case of Cook v. Tait.

Payroll taxes are imposed by the federal and all state governments. These include Social Security and Medicare taxes imposed on both employers and employees, at a combined rate of 15.3% (13.3% for 2011 and 2012). Social Security tax applies only to the first $106,800 of wages in 2009 through 2011. However, benefits are only accrued on the first $106,800 of wages. Employers must withhold income taxes on wages. An unemployment tax and certain other levies apply to employers. Payroll taxes have dramatically increased as a share of federal revenue since the 1950s, while corporate income taxes have fallen as a share of revenue. (Corporate profits have not fallen as a share of GDP).

Property taxes are imposed by most local governments and many special purpose authorities based on the fair market value of property. School and other authorities are often separately governed, and impose separate taxes. Property tax is generally imposed only on realty, though some jurisdictions tax some forms of business property. Property tax rules and rates vary widely with annual median rates ranging from 0.2% to 1.9% of a property's value depending on the state.

Sales taxes are imposed by most states and some localities on the price at retail sale of many goods and some services. Sales tax rates vary widely among jurisdictions, from 0% to 16%, and may vary within a jurisdiction based on the particular goods or services taxed. Sales tax is collected by the seller at the time of sale, or remitted as use tax by buyers of taxable items who did not pay sales tax.

The United States imposes tariffs or customs duties on the import of many types of goods from many jurisdictions. These tariffs or duties must be paid before the goods can be legally imported. Rates of duty vary from 0% to more than 20%, based on the particular goods and country of origin.

Estate and gift taxes are imposed by the federal and some state governments on the transfer of property inheritance, by will, or by lifetime donation. Similar to federal income taxes, federal estate and gift taxes are imposed on worldwide property of citizens and residents and allow a credit for foreign taxes.


Many people want to come to the United States to work. To work in the United States, you must have one of the following:

  • A Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card),
  • An Employment Authorization Document (work permit), or 
  • An employment-related visa which allows you to work for a particular employer. 

Each of the documents listed above has different application requirements. To apply for one of the documents above, you must meet different requirements. If your application is approved, the conditions you must meet and how long you can work in the United States will depend on whether you receive a Green Card, work permit, or visa. It is important that you adhere to all the conditions of your particular work authorization. If you violate any of the conditions, you could be removed from or denied reentry into the United States.

Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Worker

A temporary worker is an individual seeking to enter the United States temporarily for a specific purpose. Nonimmigrants enter the United States for a temporary period of time, and once in the United States, are restricted to the activity or reason for which their nonimmigrant visa was issued.

Permanent (Immigrant) Worker

A permanent worker is an individual who is authorized to live and work permanently in the United States.

Students and Exchange Visitors

Students and exchange visitors may, under certain circumstances, be allowed to work in the United States. They must obtain permission from an authorized official at their school. The authorized official is known as a Designed School Official (DSO) for students and the Responsible Officer (RO) for exchange visitors.

Temporary Visitors For Business

To visit the United States for business purposes you will need to obtain a visa as a temporary visitor for business (B-1 visa), unless you qualify for admission without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. For more information on the topics above, select the category related to your situation to the left.

Information for Employers & Employees

Employers must verify that an individual whom they plan to employ or continue to employ in the United States is authorized to accept employment in the United States. Individuals, such as those who have been admitted as permanent residents, granted asylum or refugee status, or admitted in work-related nonimmigrant classifications, may have employment authorization as a direct result of their immigration status. Other aliens may need to apply individually for employment authorization.


Business Contract

General Observation
You must define precisely the seller's obligations and the methods of quality control.
Law Applicable to the Contract
Advisable Incoterms
Choose an incoterm FOB (Free On Board) or CI (Cost, Insurance and Freight). Avoid EXW (Ex works), if you don't want to have to take care of the transport. Visit the website Foreign Trade to see all the incoterms.
Language of Domestic Contract
English
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
American Law: State Level.

Intellectual Property

National Organisations
United States Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office
Regional Organisations
UNECA (UN Economic Commission for Africa)

APEC(Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation)

UNECE (UN Economic Commission for Europe)

ECLAC (UN Ecomomic Commission for Latin America & the Caribean)

ESCWA (UN Ecomomic and Social Commission for Western Asia)

International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent
 
United States Code Title 35
20 years Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Trademark
 
U.S. trademark law
20 years, renewed for periods of ten years, unless previously cancelled or surrendered. Trademark Law Treaty
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Design
 
Industrial Designs
15 years  
Copyright
 
Copyright Law
During the life of the author, plus an additional 50 or 70 years Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome Convention For the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
 
United States Code Title 35
Indefinite  

Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreign nationals can expect an impartial trial from the judicial system.
The Language of Justice
English
Recourse to an Interpreter
Each federal court is required to provide, at the judiciary's expense, a certified or otherwise qualified interpreter in judicial proceedings instituted by the United States for a party who speaks only or primarily a language other than English.
Legal Similarities
The main source of the law is the Constitution of 1787. The country's legal system is based on a federal court system. It has been influenced by English Common Law, as well as judicial reviews of various legislative acts. Each state has its own unique legal system with its own supreme court. A case may be appealed from a state supreme court to the federal Supreme Court only if it is related to federal issues, such as the U.S. Constitution or laws/treaties of the United States.

The Different Legal Codes

Contract and property law Title 9 Arbitration

Title 35 Patents

Title 17 Copyrights
Customs law Title 19 Customs Duties
Company law Title 15 Commerce and Trade

Title 11 Bankruptcy

Title 28 Judiciary and Judicial Procedure
Investment law Title 31 Money and Finance

Title 12 Banks and Banking
Labor law Title 29 Labor

Title 5 Government Organization and Employees
 
Checking National Laws Online
Office of the Law Revision Council
Other Useful Resources
Caselaw, Find Law
Country Guides
U.S Courts
USA Find Law

The Jurisdictions

The U.S Supreme Courts Its jurisdiction is set out by statute in Title 28 of the U.S. Code. Most of the time the Supreme Court is judicial review. While the Supreme Court is a separate branch of government, outside factors do exert some influence on the Court. For further information, consult the US Constitution
U.S Federal Court of Appeals (13) When cases are appealed from district courts. Consult the website of the U.S Federal Court of Appeals
U.S Federal District Courts (94) Consult the website of the US Courts
State Courts Consult the website of the US Courts
The Court of Federal Claims The Court of Federal Claims hears cases in which the U.S. Government is sued.
The Court of Military Appeals More information
The Court of International Trade The Court of International Trade hears cases involving appeals of rulings of U.S. Customs offices.

Court Officials

Chief Justice of the United States
The head of the judicial branch of the government of the United States, nominated by the US president.
U.S Attorneys
Represent the United States federal government in USA district court and USA court of appeals.
US Judges
Judges of the courts of appeals and the district courts, and judges of the Court of International Trade, are appointed for life under Article III of the Constitution by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. Bankruptcy judges are judicial officers of the district courts and are appointed by the courts of appeals for 14-year terms. Magistrate judges are judicial officers of the district courts and are appointed by the judges of the district court for eight-year terms.

Learn more about Legal and Compliance in the United States on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

International Dispute Resolution

Arbitration
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution outside the courts, wherein the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons, by whose decision they agree to be bound.
Arbitration Law
U.S Code Title 9: Arbitration Law
Conformity to International Commercial Arbitration Rules
Party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Party to the Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses.
Party to the Geneva Convention of the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Appointment of Arbitrators
Consult the section 5 on Appointment of arbitrators
Arbitration Procedure
After hearing the parties, the arbitrator makes an award. All arbitration awards will be made in writing.  Unless the parties agree otherwise, arbitrators are not required to, and will not, make written opinions or explanation's with their awards.
Permanent Arbitration Bodies
Maritimes Arbitration Association of United States (Sectors Covered: Maritimes)
American Arbitration Association (Sectors Covered: Employment, intellectual property, consumer, technology, health care, financial services and construction.)
The International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) (Sectors Covered: International trade conflicts)
Learn more about Lawyers and Legal in the United States on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.
The United States is estimated to have a population of 327,270,267 as of February 27, 2018, making it the third most populous country in the world.[2] It is very urbanized, with 81% residing in cities and suburbs as of 2014 (the worldwide urban rate is 54%). California and Texas are the most populous states, as the mean center of U.S. population has consistently shifted westward and southward. New York City is the most populous city in the United States.

The total fertility rate in the United States estimated for 2016 is 1.82 children per woman, which is below the replacement fertility rate of approximately 2.1. The United States Census Bureau shows a population increase of 0.75% for the twelve-month period ending in July 2012. Though high by industrialized country standards, this is below the world average annual rate of 1.1%.

There were about 125.9 million adult women in the United States in 2014. The number of men was 119.4 million. At age 85 and older, there were almost twice as many women as men (4 million vs. 2.1 million). People under 21 years of age made up over a quarter of the U.S. population (27.1%), and people age 65 and over made up one-seventh (14.5%). The national median age was 37.8 years in 2015.

The United States Census Bureau defines white people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa." It includes people who reported "White" or wrote in entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish." Whites constitute the majority of the U.S. population, with a total of about 245,532,000 or 77.7% of the population as of 2013. Non-Hispanic whites make up 62.6% of the country's population. Despite major changes due to immigration since the 1960s, and the higher birth-rates of nonwhites, the overall current majority of American citizens are still white, and English-speaking, though regional differences exist.

The American population almost quadrupled during the 20th century—at a growth rate of about 1.3% a year—from about 76 million in 1900 to 281 million in 2000. It is estimated to have reached the 200 million mark in 1967, and the 300 million mark on October 17, 2006. Population growth is fastest among minorities as a whole, and according to the Census Bureau's estimation for 2012, 50.4% of American children under the age of 1 belonged to minority groups. According to Pew Research Center study released in 2018, By 2040, Islam will surpass Judaism to become the second largest religion in the US due to higher immigration and birth rates.

Hispanic and Latino Americans accounted for 48% of the national population growth of 2.9 million between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006. Immigrants and their U.S.-born descendants are expected to provide most of the U.S. population gains in the decades ahead.

The Census Bureau projects a U.S. population of 417 million in 2060, a 38% increase from 2007 (301.3 million), and the United Nations estimates the U.S. population will be 402 million in 2050, an increase of 32% from 2007. In an official census report, it was reported that 54.4% (2,150,926 out of 3,953,593) of births in 2010 were non-Hispanic white. This represents an increase of 0.3% compared to the previous year, which was 54.1%.


2018 Technology Industry Outlook

Navigating to the future: Leveraging tech advances in the digital era The 2018 Technology Outlook reviews which industry trends are top-of-mind and strategies that tech companies are leveraging as they plan for growth.

2018 technology industry trends In an age of digital disruption, technology companies face increasing pressure to improve time to market and ensure their offerings are best in class.

“Buy, build, partner” models and M&A strategies can help companies gain a competitive edge in growth areas like cloud, cognitive computing, and data analytics.

In Deloitte’s 2018 Technology Industry Outlook, Paul Sallomi, US and global technology sector leader, examines current technology industry trends and answers three key questions:

  • Where do you see opportunities for growth in 2018?
  • Which strategies are tech companies using to facilitate growth?
  • What should businesses be mindful of as they plan for growth?

Where do you see opportunities for growth in 2018?

The technology industry trends driving growth this year will include cloud computing; flexible consumption; cognitive computing; user-friendly tools, APIs, and apps; and data.
  • Cloud computing. Important innovations are making cloud computing more valuable for companies as they seek to transform their operations and business models. These advances are helping accelerate deployments of artificial intelligence and Internet of Things solutions, while enabling deep, analytics-driven insights.1
  • Flexible consumption. Cloud is driving demand for flexible consumption(“pay as you go”) models. Connected devices and the Internet of Things have made more products suitable for “as a service” consumption—enabling lower unit costs and enhanced customer relationships.
  • Cognitive computing, although still in its infancy, is helping companies enhance products and services, make better decisions, and improve operations. In particular, machine learningis helping companies find patterns (and anomalies) in large data sets.
  • User-friendly tools, APIs, and apps are ensuring that in the future fewer people will need to know how various technologies actually work.
  • Data. We’re seeing the breakdown of data silos and the emergence of tools that connect disparate information. Companies are getting better at extracting key business insights.

Which strategies are tech companies using to facilitate growth?

Tech companies are relying on the tried-and-true, like M&A and divestitures, and testing out new strategies like “coopetition.”
  • Buy, build, or partner. The complexity involved in designing today’s technology platforms requires deep expertise in multiple areas. To compete more effectively, would-be competitors are using “coopetition”—pooling their resources for mutual gain in areas where they don’t compete directly.
  • Mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures provide a fast track to fending off competitors from both inside and outside the industry. Spinoffs and divestitures can help companies quickly scale or shed assets.
  • Venture investing. Tech companies, through their venture arms, are actively investing in startups within growth areas such as artificial intelligence.

What should businesses be mindful of as they plan for growth?

The most successful companies will be those who can “see around corners” and anticipate unexpected disruptors. This will increasingly involve looking beyond one’s own industry.

Other key areas to watch include:
  • Cybersecurity. While the cloud and mobile devices are essential components of any company’s digital transformation, they do present a significant cybersecurity risk. New technologies, like AI-powered bots and robotic process automation, are beginning to play an increasingly important cybersecurity role.
  • Regulatory environment. Technology companies face a host of regulatory challenges, ranging from privacy and security to taxation and data sovereignty. The power of the regulators is undeniable—their impact can literally be catalytic or catastrophic for businesses.

Economy - overview

The US has the most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $57,300. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers, pharmaceuticals, and medical, aerospace, and military equipment; however, their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. Based on a comparison of GDP measured at purchasing power parity conversion rates, the US economy in 2014, having stood as the largest in the world for more than a century, slipped into second place behind China, which has more than tripled the US growth rate for each year of the past four decades.

In the US, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, businesses face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets.

Long-term problems for the US include stagnation of wages for lower-income families, inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, energy shortages, and sizable current account and budget deficits.

The onrush of technology has been a driving factor in the gradual development of a "two-tier" labor market in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. But the globalization of trade, and especially the rise of low-wage producers such as China, has put additional downward pressure on wages and upward pressure on the return to capital. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income.

Imported oil accounts for nearly 55% of US consumption and oil has a major impact on the overall health of the economy. Crude oil prices doubled between 2001 and 2006, the year home prices peaked; higher gasoline prices ate into consumers' budgets and many individuals fell behind in their mortgage payments. Oil prices climbed another 50% between 2006 and 2008, and bank foreclosures more than doubled in the same period. Besides dampening the housing market, soaring oil prices caused a drop in the value of the dollar and a deterioration in the US merchandise trade deficit, which peaked at $840 billion in 2008. Because the US economy is energy-intensive, falling oil prices since 2013 have alleviated many of the problems the earlier increases had created.

The sub-prime mortgage crisis, falling home prices, investment bank failures, tight credit, and the global economic downturn pushed the US into a recession by mid-2008. GDP contracted until the third quarter of 2009, making this the deepest and longest downturn since the Great Depression. To help stabilize financial markets, the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in October 2008. The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and industrial corporations, much of which had been returned to the government by early 2011. In January 2009, Congress passed and President Barack OBAMA signed a bill providing an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus to be used over 10 years - two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts - to create jobs and to help the economy recover. In 2010 and 2011, the federal budget deficit reached nearly 9% of GDP. In 2012, the Federal Government reduced the growth of spending and the deficit shrank to 7.6% of GDP. US revenues from taxes and other sources are lower, as a percentage of GDP, than those of most other countries.

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from civilian to military purposes and contributed to the growth of the budget deficit and public debt. Through 2014, the direct costs of the wars totaled more than $1.5 trillion, according to US Government figures.

In March 2010, President OBAMA signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a health insurance reform that was designed to extend coverage to an additional 32 million Americans by 2016, through private health insurance for the general population and Medicaid for the impoverished. Total spending on healthcare - public plus private - rose from 9.0% of GDP in 1980 to 17.9% in 2010.

In July 2010, the president signed the DODD-FRANK Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a law designed to promote financial stability by protecting consumers from financial abuses, ending taxpayer bailouts of financial firms, dealing with troubled banks that are "too big to fail," and improving accountability and transparency in the financial system - in particular, by requiring certain financial derivatives to be traded in markets that are subject to government regulation and oversight.

In December 2012, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) announced plans to purchase $85 billion per month of mortgage-backed and Treasury securities in an effort to hold down long-term interest rates, and to keep short-term rates near zero until unemployment dropped below 6.5% or inflation rose above 2.5%. In late 2013, the Fed announced that it would begin scaling back long-term bond purchases to $75 billion per month in January 2014 and further reduce them as conditions warranted; the Fed ended the purchases during the summer of 2014. In 2014, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.2%, and continued to fall to 5.5% by mid-2015, the lowest rate of joblessness since before the global recession began; inflation stood at 1.7%, and public debt as a share of GDP continued to decline, following several years of increases. In December 2015, the Fed raised its target for the benchmark federal funds rate by 0.25%, the first increase since the recession began. With US GDP growth below 2%, the Fed opted to raise rates three times since then, and in mid-June 2017, the range for the target rate stood at 1% to 1.25%.

GDP (purchasing power parity)$19.36 trillion (2017 est.)
$18.95 trillion (2016 est.)
$18.67 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$19.36 trillion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.2% (2017 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
2.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$59,500 (2017 est.)
$58,600 (2016 est.)
$58,200 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving17.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
18% of GDP (2016 est.)
19.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 69.1%
government consumption: 17.2%
investment in fixed capital: 16.3%
investment in inventories: 0.3%
exports of goods and services: 12.2%
imports of goods and services: -15.1% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.9%
industry: 18.9%
services: 80.2%
(2017 est.)
Population below poverty line15.1% (2010 est.)
Labor force160.4 million
note: includes unemployed (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationfarming, forestry, and fishing: 0.7%
manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts: 20.3%
managerial, professional, and technical: 37.3%
sales and office: 24.2%
other services: 17.6%
note: figures exclude the unemployed
(2009)
Unemployment rate4.4% (2017 est.)
4.9% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 10.4%
male: 11.4%
female: 9.3% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 30% (2007 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index45 (2007)
40.8 (1997)
Budgetrevenues: $3.336 trillion
expenditures: $3.991 trillion
note: for the US, revenues exclude social contributions of approximately $1.0 trillion; expenditures exclude social benefits of approximately $2.3 trillion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues17.2% of GDP
note: excludes contributions for social security and other programs; if social contributions were added, taxes and other revenues would amount to approximately 22% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt77.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
76.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: data cover only what the United States Treasury denotes as "Debt Held by the Public," which includes all debt instruments issued by the Treasury that are owned by non-US Government entities; the data include Treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by individual US states, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of Treasury borrowings from surpluses in the trusts for Federal Social Security, Federal Employees, Hospital and Supplemental Medical Insurance (Medicare), Disability and Unemployment, and several other smaller trusts; if data for intra-government debt were added, "gross debt" would increase by about one-third of GDP
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.1% (2017 est.)
1.3% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.5% (31 December 2010)
0.5% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate4.3% (31 December 2017 est.)
3.51% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$3.627 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.25 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$14 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$12.84 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$21.59 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$20.24 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$25.07 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$26.33 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$24.03 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish; forest products
Industrieshighly diversified, world leading, high-technology innovator, second-largest industrial output in the world; petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining
Industrial production growth rate1.8% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$462 billion (2017 est.)
-$451.7 billion (2016 est.)
Exports$1.576 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.456 trillion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesagricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0% (2008 est.)
Exports - partnersCanada 18.3%, Mexico 15.9%, China 8%, Japan 4.4% (2016)
Imports$2.352 trillion (2017 est.)
$2.208 trillion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesagricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys) (2008 est.)
Imports - partnersChina 21.1%, Mexico 13.4%, Canada 12.7%, Japan 6%, Germany 5.2% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$117.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$117.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$17.91 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$17.85 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
note: approximately 4/5ths of US external debt is denominated in US dollars; foreign lenders have been willing to hold US dollar denominated debt instruments because they view the dollar as the world's reserve currency
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$4.084 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.614 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$5.644 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.352 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesBritish pounds per US dollar: 0.7836 (2017 est.), 0.738 (2016 est.), 0.738 (2015 est.), 0.607 (2014 est), 0.6391 (2013 est.)
Canadian dollars per US dollar: 1, 1.308 (2017 est.), 1.3256 (2016 est.), 1.3256 (2015 est.), 1.2788 (2014 est.), 1.0298 (2013 est.)
Chinese yuan per US dollar: 1, 6.7588 (2017 est.), 6.6445 (2016 est.), 6.2275 (2015 est.), 6.1434 (2014 est.), 6.1958 (2013 est.)
euros per US dollar: 0.906 (2017 est.), 0.9214 (2016 est.), 0.9214(2015 est.), 0.885 (2014 est.), 0.7634 (2013 est.)
Japanese yen per US dollar: 111.10 (2017 est.), 108.76 (2016 est.), 108.76 (2015 est.), 121.02 (2014 est.), 97.44 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September