The United States has the largest and mosttechnologically powerful economy in the world. US GDP (nominal) was estimatedat nearly US$17 trillion in 2013 or around 25% of global GDP. The United Statesis a major driver of the global economy and a world leader in terms ofinternational trade and investment, research and development expenditure, stockmarket capitalisation and its share of large global corporations. In thismarket-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most ofthe decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods andservices predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoygreater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan indecisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to developnew products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter theirrivals’ home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets. US firms areat or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers andin medical, aerospace, and military equipment


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