Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the United States has ranked first among the largest economies in the world. With a GDP of around 18 billion dollars, it is well above the second place, China, with a GDP of around 11 billion.
Several factors contributed to the success of the US economy since colonization: the non-predatory occupation during its colonization, the large nature reserves available, the formation of a large domestic and foreign consumer market, the large number of immigrants that received, important scientific-technological production and the political-economic and military influence over different regions of the world.
American participation in the two great world wars was also an important factor, as, during these periods, it was the major supplier of arms and supplies to the belligerent countries.
With the end of World War II and the Bretton Woods agreement, the US dollar started to have great stability and became the currency of exchange at an international level, making many countries interested in establishing trade relations with the country in order to to capture them to form their foreign exchange reserves.
As a result, the United States came to control several sectors of the international economy, including some exercising strong monopoly control through their companies and financial institutions.
Currently, with the end of the Cold War and the multipolarization of economic relations, the country receives greater commercial competition from European countries and also from the Asian bloc, especially Japan , China and Asian Tigers .
The US economic sectors
In the primary sector, the highlight is mechanized, highly productive and profitable agriculture, using genetic engineering, making the country the world’s leading producer of transgenic products.
Animal husbandry is another strong point with cattle (beef and dairy), pigs, poultry and sheep. In relation to natural resources, the highlight is fishing in the icy waters of the state of Alaska, forestry, oil, natural gas, coal and shale.
The climatic, geomorphological, pedological diversity, the extensive territory and the proximity of the consumer markets explain the existence of several specialized agricultural regions, concentrated to the east of the 100 degree meridian, and are called belts .
The state-of-the-art industrial sector is very strong, especially in the state of California. The automotive, chemical, food and textile industries, among others, also stand out.
The largest industrial concentration in the world encompasses the northeast Atlantic coast and the areas bordering the Great Lakes – large steel companies, vehicle manufacturers, chemical industries and a wide variety of consumer goods industries are concentrated in the region.
Settlement colonization, mineral resources, energy availability, transport (Great Lakes – São Lourenço river) and consumer markets explain the large industrial concentration.
The oil and natural gas deposits in the Gulf of Mexico and California, the Japanese economic expansion and its periphery, expanding the commercial importance of the Pacific Basin, the decentralization of the war industry and scientific and technological production were fundamental for the rise new industrial areas in the south and west, in the so-called sun belt .
In the state of California, the highly qualified workforce and the large capital investments allowed the emergence of several industrial branches, such as: electronic, information technology, biotechnology, war and aerospace. In the San Francisco region, the highlight is Silicon Valley with a huge concentration of information technology companies (products with high added value).
In the tertiary sector, tourism emerges, an important economic engine of the USA, since the country is very much sought after, mainly New York, Miami, Orlando, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Chicago, Boston, besides of the state of Hawaii. The transport system is of good quality – highways, railways, waterways and airports.
The finance sector has relevance for banks, real estate and stock exchanges located in New York: New York Stock Exchange – NYSE (opened in 1817, on Wall Street) with current market capitalization above US $ 10 trillion and Nasdaq (created in 1971 and which, since the 2000s, started to trade shares in the high-tech sector, such as software, biotechnology, etc.) with a current market capitalization above US $ 4 trillion.
The geoeconomic regions of the USA
The northeast is the main urban-industrial concentration in the country, with the presence of the megalopolises Bos-Wash and Chi-Pitts.
The Manufacturing Belt presents old industrialization, using the Fordist system. Industrial decentralization towards the south and west, dubbed the Rust Belt area ( Rust Belt ). Exploration of iron ore in the Lake Superior (Great Lakes) region and mineral coal in the Appalachians.
In the agricultural sector, important belts, such as fresh produce – Green Belt and dairy farming – Dairy Belt .
Tourism is another important economic activity in the region, highlighting the performance of New York.
South and Southeast
The South and Southeast have great economic importance in relation to the industrial sector with the presence of the Sun Belt – aerospace sector in Houston, Texas.
Farming presents beef cattle breeding, Texas, and production conditioned by the climate with high temperatures – tropical crops such as cotton – Cotton Belt , sugarcane, citrus – Fruit Belt , especially orange.
Oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and Texas, which led to the development of the oil and petrochemical sectors.
According to Prozipcodes, tourism stands out as an important source of income in Florida.
The Midwest presents itself as the main agricultural area in the country – central plain, fertile soils, Mississippi-Missouri basin, favorable climate and grasslands, which favored the development of the wheat belts – Wheat Belt and corn – Corn Belt . Strong presence of agribusiness.
The west presents mountainous relief – Rocky Mountains and arid and semi-arid climates, in addition to the great hydroelectric potential of the Colorado and Columbia River basins.
The livestock sector stands out with the extensive breeding of beef cattle, in addition to sheep and horses, forming the Ranching Belt , which developed in the region thanks to the presence of steppes and grasslands.
The extraction of gold, copper, zinc, uranium, mineral coal and oil are also of great economic importance.
The west coast presents the Sun Belt , highlighting California, due to the presence of high technology sectors (information technology, aerospace, microelectronics, etc.) in Silicon Valley ( Silicon Valley ) and the “Orchard of the World” – irrigated fruit culture (system called dry farming ).
The sectors of the oil and film industry also stand out. In the urban-industrial aspect, emphasis is placed on Megalópole San-San.