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Aristotle Vossos

International Relations, P. 8
USA Background Report
9/10/14
USA Background Report

Politics and Government


The United States of America is a Federal Presidential Constitutional
Republic located in North America, with its capital in Washington D.C.
What is different about the USA is that Americans do not have an
official language, although English is recognized as the official
language in 28 states. The USA is part of BLOCs such as NATO and
WEOG, but it remains an independent government. The head of state is
President Barack Obama, who comes from the Democratic Party and is
in his second term in office. Another interesting fact about the USA is
that it was both a colony and a coloniser. It was a colony of the United
Kingdom; or rather many separate colonies to be more exact. And yet
it currently holds several colonies in its possession, such as Puerto
Rico, Guam, and American Samoa. The two current major parties in the
country are the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Both hold
major positions in the government, with the President and VicePresident being Democrats, but the Speaker of the House is a
Republican. Lastly, the US is different from other countries in that it is
quite liberal in its laws on religion. There is free exercise of religion,

Aristotle Vossos
International Relations, P. 8
USA Background Report
9/10/14
and religion does not interfere with politics. However, Protestantism is
the dominant religion, with over half the population being Protestant.

Geography, Culture, and Social


Geographically, the US is very well placed. It has a coastline along the
east and west sides, and only two borders, one with Canada on the
north, which produces no problem, and one with Mexico on the south,
which does produce some problems with illegal immigration. The US is
also the 4th largest country in the world by population and 3rd largest by
area, with a population of close to 320 million people, and an area of
9,826,675 km2. One thing to note, however, is that although only 80%
of the population is white, 12.85% is black and 4.43% is Asian. In a
country of 320 million people, those percentages can turn into rather
large numbers. Most minorities are not integrated into society well in
the sense of wages and rights. However, putting this aside, the US
does have a literacy rate of 99%, which is very high. It also has a fairly
average life span of 78.7 years.

Economy
The US is considered an MEDC. The five major US exports are Cars
(4.4%), Refined Petroleum (4.2%), Planes, Helicopters, and/or

Aristotle Vossos
International Relations, P. 8
USA Background Report
9/10/14
Spacecraft (3.2%), Packaged Medicaments (3.1%), and Gas Turbines
(2.4%). The major export destinations are Canada (13%), Mexico
(11%), China (9.3%), Japan (5.5%), and Germany (4.9%). The five
major US imports are Cars (8.3%), Computers (5.4%), Crude Petroleum
(5.3%), Packaged Medicaments (2.6%), and Broadcasting Equipment
(2.5%). The major import origins are China (22%), Mexico (14%),
Canada (9.8%), Japan (7.8%), and Germany (6.0%). The United States
is the top exporter of Planes, Helicopters, and/or Spacecraft, Delivery
Trucks, Gas Turbines, Human or Animal Blood, Medical Instruments,
Aircraft Parts, Polyacetals, Wheat, Soybeans, and Scrap Iron. Moving
on, the US has an HDI of 0.914, a number that has been slowly rising
over the past 30 years. The natural resources that the US has are: coal,
copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium,
bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc,
petroleum, natural gas, timber. The US has the world's largest coal
reserves with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of the world's
total. The US has a GDP of $16.72 trillion dollars and a GNP of $53,670.
Lastly, the US has an unemployment rate of 5.9%, something which
President Obama has been trying to reduce, and has been reducing,
thus far.

Aristotle Vossos
International Relations, P. 8
USA Background Report
9/10/14
Defence
The US is the most powerful military power in the world, with a defense
budget of close to $700 billion. The US is also one of the largest
nuclear powers in the world, with around 7,300 nuclear weapons. The
US tends to have mixed relations with other nuclear powers, since it
has strained relations with Russia and China, but no so much with the
UK. Furthermore, the US has been revamping its weapons arsenal,
which is ironic since President Obama had been advocating for a
nuclear-free world. Moving on to wars and armed conflicts, the US is
currently involved in several armed conflicts and wars, with the most
recent being its airstrikes on ISIS in Syria and the surrounding territory.
The US has an independent military, although it is conducting several
operations with countries such as Saudi Arabia, one of its closest allies,
and the UK. The USAs most important allies are Saudi Arabia,
Australia, The Philippines, and Chile is considered a valuable on in
South America.

Environment
The US, as previously mentioned, is a country, which does have a
relatively large coastline. The US has three environmental
organizations: The National Park Service, The United States Fish and

Aristotle Vossos
International Relations, P. 8
USA Background Report
9/10/14
Wildlife Service, and The United States Environmental Protection
Agency. It is also a member of the ICLEI, WWF, The United Nations
Environmental Program, and the Global Environment Facility. Moving on
to energy matters, the US consumes 3.886 trillion kWh of electricity,
making it the second largest consumer of electricity in the world,
behind China. However, the US also uses several other energy sources
that do not use coal, such as Solar Power, Natural Gas, bioelectric
energy, and hydroelectric energy. The US also has a 34.5% recycling
rate, and it recycled or composted 87 million tons of trash in 2012.

Influence
The US, as mentioned previously, is a member of several BLOCs and
organizations, such as NATO and WEOG, and is also a member of
several environmental organizations. Once again, as previously
mentioned, the USs main allies are Australia, Saudi Arabia, and The
United Kingdom. The US also has very good relations with the
Philippines and Chile. Lastly, the US is a regular member of ECOSOC,
and one of the 5 countries with veto power in the Security Power. The
US joined the UN in 1945, with the other original ratifying countries.

Aristotle Vossos
International Relations, P. 8
USA Background Report
9/10/14

Sources
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-worldfactbook/geos/us.html
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-16761057
http://www.indexmundi.com/united_states/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Regional_Groups

Aristotle Vossos
International Relations, P. 8
USA Background Report
9/10/14
http://atlas.media.mit.edu/profile/country/usa/
http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-worldfactbook/fields/2111.html
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/us/us-ramping-up-major-renewalin-nuclear-arms.html?_r=1
http://fas.org/issues/nuclear-weapons/status-world-nuclear-forces/
http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/home