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Analyzing United States of America

Economic Overview of the United States 
Despite facing challenges at the domestic level along with a rapidly transforming global landscape, the U.S. economy is still the largest and most important in the world. The U.S. economy represents about 20% of total global output, and is still larger than that of China. Moreover, according to the IMF, the U.S. has the sixth highest per capita GDP (PPP). The U.S. economy features a highly-developed and technologically-advanced services sector, which accounts for about 80% of its output. The U.S. economy is dominated by services-oriented companies in areas such as technology, financial services, healthcare and retail. Large U.S. corporations also play a major role on the global stage, with more than a fifth of companies on the Fortune Global 500 coming from the United States. 
Even though the services sector is the main engine of the economy, the U.S. also has an important manufacturing base, which represents roughly 15% of output. The U.S. is the second largest manufacturer in the world and a leader in higher-value industries such as automobiles, aerospace, machinery, telecommunications and chemicals. Meanwhile, agriculture represents less than 2% of output. However, large amounts of arable land, advanced farming technology and generous government subsidies make the U.S. a net exporter of food and the largest agricultural exporting country in the world. 
The U.S. economy maintains its powerhouse status through a combination of characteristics. The country has access to abundant natural resources and a sophisticated physical infrastructure. It also has a large, well-educated and productive workforce. Moreover, the physical and human capital is fully leveraged in a free-market and business-oriented environment. The government and the people of the United States both contribute to this unique economic environment. The government provides political stability, a functional legal system, and a regulatory structure that allow the economy to flourish. The general population, including a diversity of immigrants, brings a solid work ethic, as well as a sense of entrepreneurship and risk taking to the mix. Economic growth in the United States is constantly being driven forward by ongoing innovation, research and development as well as capital investment. 
While the labor market has recovered significantly and employment has returned to pre-crisis levels, there is still widespread debate regarding the health of the U.S. economy. In addition, even though the worst effects of the recession are now fading, the economy still faces a variety of significant challenges going forward. Deteriorating infrastructure, wage stagnation, rising income inequality, elevated pension and medical costs, as well as large current account and government budget deficits, are all issues facing the US economy. 
United States’ Trade Structure
The U.S. is the 2nd leading exporter of goods and services in the world and the number one leading importer. The U.S. has consistently run a trade deficit, mainly due to the dependence on foreign oil to meet its energy needs and high domestic demand for consumer goods produced abroad, however thanks to advances in domestic oil production, the energy gap is closing. The main trading partners of the U.S. are Canada, China, Mexico and Japan. Canada is the main destination for U.S. exports, whereas China is the main source of imports. 
The U.S. plays a major role in the international trade system and is generally seen as a proponent of reduced trade barriers and free trade agreements. The United States currently has more than a dozen free trade agreements in place. Among them are the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was created in conjunction with Canada and Mexico in 1994. The United States is also an active member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). 
Exports from the United States
Although the United States has lost some of its competitive edge in recent decades, material goods still represent two thirds of its total exports. The United States mainly exports high-value capital goods and manufactured products, including industrial machinery, airplanes, motor vehicles and chemicals. In 2015, the U.S. exported USD 1.510 trillion in goods. 
The United States is the world’s leading exporter of services. This includes financial and professional business services as well as other knowledge-intensive services. Travel, transportation and tourism services are also a major export. Services represent about one third of total exports. 
Imports to the United States
More 80% of total imports brought to the United States from abroad are goods. Roughly 15% of these imports are in the form crude oil, fuel oil and petroleum products. Industrial machinery, supplies and equipment represent another 15% of imported goods. Almost 25% of imported goods are capital goods, such as computers, computer accessories, electronics, medical equipment, and telecommunications equipment. Consumer goods represent another 25% of imported goods. Cellphones, pharmaceuticals, toys, household equipment, textiles, apparel, televisions, and footwear are the main types of consumer goods imported to the United States. An additional 15% of imported goods are automotive vehicles, parts, and engines. Food and beverages represent only about 5% of imported goods. Services represent only 20% of total imports, and are primarily financial services, as well as travel and transportation. 
U.S. manufacturing
U.S. manufacturing produces 18.2 percent of the world's goods. That's more than the entire economic output of Canada, Korea, or Mexico. But America's leadership position is threatened by high operating costs. That gives a competitive edge to other countries. First among these is China. Its low-cost factories manufacture 17.6 percent of the world's products.
In 1970, China was the world's fifth largest manufacturer. It took the No.1 spot in 2010, replacing the United States. Japan is third, at 10 percent. It's followed by Germany at 7 percent, South Korea at 4 percent, and India at 3 percent. China produces 20 percent of the world's goods, according to a Brookings Institute report. The United States produces 18 percent, and Japan produces 10 percent.
American Steel Industry
The United States is the world’s largest steel importer, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute, labor productivity has seen a five-fold increase since the early 1980s, going from an average of 10.1 man-hours per finished ton to an average of 1.9 man-hours per finished ton of steel in 2015. In addition, the North American steel industry is committed to the highest safety and health standards. Since 2005, U.S. steel producers have achieved a 70 percent reduction in both the total OSHA recordable injury and illness and lost workday case rates. 
Steel Production in the United States decreased to 6896 thousand tonnes in February from 7647 thousand tonnes in January of 2019. Steel Production in the United States averaged 7907.02 thousand tonnes from 1969 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 11951 thousand tonnes in May of 1973 and a record low of 3799 thousand tonnes in April of 2009.
The evolution of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) continues to grow in application, notably in the automotive industry. New advanced steel grades are the lightweight automotive material that best addresses society’s need for reduced greenhouse gas emissions, without compromising safety, performance, or affordability. These new steel types are already being used to improve the performance of vehicles on the road and emerging grades will be increasingly employed. Each year, new car models are introduced using lighter-weight, higher-strength steel components that provide a cost-effective answer to the demand for increased safety and fuel economy. Studies show that AHSS steel grades are growing faster in new automotive applications than aluminum and plastic—steel’s main competitors.
Automakers drive the U.S. economy. 
Automakers and their suppliers are America’s largest manufacturing sector, responsible for 3% of America’s GDP. They are also America’s largest exporters. In fact, over the past five years, automakers have exported more than $692 billion in vehicles and parts – nearly $50 billion more than the next largest exporter (aerospace). Not only are they America’s largest exporters, they also buy hundreds of billions of dollars worth of American steel, glass, rubber, iron, and semiconductors each year.They are also among America’s largest investors in R&D. The auto sector ranks third out of the forty largest industries, on a global basis, in R&D spending.
U.S. auto sales have increased by more than 67% since the 2009 financial crisis (from 10.4 million to 17.4 million last year). CAR projects sales will exceed 16.8 million vehicles per year through 2025. Meanwhile, U.S. auto production has more than doubled during that same period (from 5.6 million vehicles in 2009 to 11.3 million vehicles in 2017). U.S. auto production is expected to exceed 11.5 million vehicles per year through 2021 – and reach 12 million by 2025. Automaker and auto supplier employment in the U.S. increased by nearly 50% from 2011 through 2017, adding nearly 130,000 U.S. jobs. 
U.S. aerospace manufacturers are very competitive internationally. In 2017, the industry contributed $143 billion in export sales to the U.S. economy. Its positive trade balance of nearly $85 billion that year was the largest trade surplus of any manufacturing industry, supporting high-wage jobs for hundreds of thousands of American workers. At the end of 2017, inward stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the U.S. aerospace manufacturing industry totaled more than $21 billion.
The U.S. aerospace industry is the largest in the world and offers a skilled and educated workforce, extensive distribution systems, diverse offerings, and strong support at the local and national level for policy and promotion. The U.S. aerospace industry directly employs about 485,000 workers in scientific and technical jobs across the nation and supports more than 700,000 jobs in related fields. Investment in the U.S. aerospace industry is facilitated by a large pool of well-trained machinists, aerospace engineers, and other highly-skilled workers with experience in the aerospace industry.
The United States is a leader in the production and supply of energy, and is one of the world’s largest energy consumers. U.S. energy companies produce oil, natural gas, coal, renewable fuels, as well as electricity from clean energy sources such as wind, solar, and nuclear power. U.S. energy companies further transmit, distribute, and store energy through complex infrastructure networks that are supported by emerging products and services such as smart grid technologies. Growing consumer demand and world class innovation – combined with a competitive workforce and supply chain capable of building, installing, and servicing all energy technologies – make the United States one of the world’s most attractive markets with total investment in the U.S. energy sector at $276 billion in 2016 (the second-largest in the world).
Sources: Focus-economics, Bureau of Economic Analysis U.S Department of Commerce, AAPC, selectusa.gov
U.S. Fastener Industry
The screws, bolts, nuts, and rivets produced by fastener manufacturersare part of the foundation of the U.S. industrial sector. Fasteners can be found in a vast range of applications, and nearly every machine or construction project incorporates them to some degree. Volume can range from thousands to millions in a given fastener run, with both small shops and larger manufacturers contributing to the output. There are also numerous fabrication processes, such as cold forming or rolling, that influence the diversity of fastener specifications and capabilities.
  Today, the U.S. fastener industry constitutes a multi-billion dollar segment of the economy. It has a large number of varied companies centered around the main purchasers of fastener products, including the automotive, aerospace, and military sectors. But despite the ancient origins of the fastener, this industry began developing toward its current level of scale and complexity only a couple of centuries ago, with some of the greatest strides occurring in living memory. Tracing the evolution of the American fastener industry can shed light on and add context to its present condition.
Fastener Origins
The ability to join multiple components together using a fastener had its origins in the earliest civilizations. This skill enabled the construction of simple handcarts, as well as more complex irrigation systems and agricultural machines. Despite their utility, fasteners developed slowly, and it was only in the fifteenth century that the first threaded screw was introduced. In this era, fasteners became increasingly complex in their design and dimensions, and new forms were used in building the first printing presses, clocks, and watches.
  The arrival of the Industrial Revolution introduced a more systematic approach to fastener manufacturing, allowing greater numbers of screws and bolts to be produced in shorter amounts of time. In the mid-eighteenth century, the Wyatt brothers in England established the first factory devoted to making fasteners and were soon producing more than 150,000 wooden screws a week. While a handful of fastener companies sprang up in America in the late 1700’s, the industry had difficulty expanding due to a lack of standardization. The size, thread density, and overall dimensions of a fastener varied from shop to shop, meaning a manufacturer had to cater to a specific local market.
Standardization and Expansion in the U.S.
The contributions of American inventors, such as David Wilkinson, in creating fabrication machines that provided accurate and highly uniform results helped establish certain conventions for fastener manufacturing. The process of standardizing their specifications was largely dependent on widespread acceptance of certain production methods. New Yorker William Keane, for example, developed the thread-rolling process in 1836, which allowed threads to be shaped without cutting a workpiece and eventually became a common practice within the industry.
  Founded in 1840, the Rugg & Barnes company in Connecticut became the first major manufacturer to focus on fastener production, while two years later, the A.P. Plant Company (also in Connecticut) began scaling their prices according to volume and providing standard price listings for fastener components. Around the same time, the first automatic cold-forming machine was introduced, and machine-made nuts and bolts were available to the market. The demand for machinery, railroad supplies, and weapons for the Civil War caused a boom in fastener sales and production.
The Rise of American Fasteners
Between 1864 and 1884, various thread-sizing systems were adopted and refined, until an American thread standard was firmly established. During World War I, however, differences between American and European specifications created difficulties in coordinating manufacturing efforts, and temporary changes had to be made to accommodate the two systems. Throughout the 1930s and 40s, several fastener organizations emerged, helping spread technological innovations and common practices across the industry.
  By the late 1960s, the U.S. had approximately 600 factories and produced nearly 2 billion fasteners each year. The fastener industry employed over 50,000 workers at more than 400 different companies. From this peak, the fastener industry slowly declined over the next twenty years due to increasing foreign competition and changing production requirements. In the late 1980s, however, American fastener manufacturing experienced a resurgence due to a Congressional investigation of substandard foreign components. This inquiry led to the Fastener Quality Act of 1990, which implemented quality control requirements and greatly boosted demand for American-made fasteners. The industry grew steadily throughout the 1990s, and the 2000s saw fastener companies benefiting from greater expansion into the aerospace sector. 
Top 20 importing markets for fasteners exported by United States of America
United States of America's exports represent 10.4% of world exports for fasteners and its ranking in world exports is 4.
Unit:US Dollar thousand, product code 7813
Top 20  supplying markets for fasteners imported by United States of America
United States of America's imports represent 13.4% of world imports for fasteners and its ranking in world imports is 1.
Unit:US Dollar thousand, product 7813