AGN Country Portals

Doing Business in the United States

Published in October 2017

So many international companies and firms have business in the United States. With a market of more than 324 million people, AGN North America has excellent firms to help you and your clients do business here. While most of this market speaks English, 12% speak Spanish and 7% speak other languages.

Technology is a huge part of the economy and technological developments and applications are at the forefront of US companies. IT, pharmaceutical, medical, aerospace and military equipment companies are also important sectors in this vast and somewhat diverse country.

Growth in 2017 exceeded 3%, which is the highest in two years. The GDP per capita income is $59,609 and so is categorized by the World Bank as high income. The United States is the second largest exporting economy in the world, after China. Their top exports in 2017 include:

  1. Machinery / computers: US$190.5 billion (13.1% of total exports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $167.2 billion (11.5%)
  3. Aircraft, spacecraft: $134.6 billion (9.3%)
  4. Vehicles : $124.3 billion (8.5%)
  5. Mineral fuels including oil: $94.7 billion (6.5%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $82.0 billion (5.6%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $58.4 billion (4.0%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $57.8 billion (4.0%)
  9. Pharmaceuticals: $47.1 billion (3.2%)
  10. Organic chemicals: $33.9 billion (2.3%)


Companies and individuals make most business decisions, and the federal and state governments buy goods and contracts mainly in the private market.

Doing business in the US is easier than in most other countries. There is a lot of flexibility on the part of private companies to make decisions about expansion, new product development and employment. Nearly every sort of business already exists and startups are plentiful and common. Tax and other laws can be complex so it is best to seek the advice of a good accounting firm to help with tax incentives, taxation and regulation.

American companies also are amongst the largest sources of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) abroad.

For the most up-to-date statistics, this portal incorporates various live data feeds from:

  • The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
  • The World Bank
  • The observatory of Economic Complexity



Use the navigations buttons below to access to more live data:
Inflation, Development indicators, Exports, Trade Balance, and more.

OECD Country Comparison Portal

The window below is a direct feed of regularly updated information from the OECD. It provides data concerning everything from GDP growth, fiscal balance, investment, and unemployment rates to consumption, import volume and export volume. The window allows comparisons between The United States and other countries of the OECD average for these factors.

Inflation (CPI)

Total, Annual growth rate (%)

World Bank Development Indicators

The window below is a feed from the World Bank website and shows the primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current, accurate and global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates. Amongst others it covers critical areas of Agriculture & Rural Development, Climate Change, Economy & Growth, Education, Energy & Mining, Environment, External Debt, Health, Infrastructure and Labor & Social Protection.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Products, represented by rectangles, are drawn from the 775 individual product classes found in the Standardized International Trade Code.

This graph shows volumes of goods exported from the United States.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Products, represented by rectangles, are drawn from the 775 individual product classes found in the Standardized International Trade Code.

This graph shows volumes of goods imported into The United States.

Trade Balance

This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

This graph illustrates the subsequent trade balance of exports and imports to and from The United States.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

This graph shows the destinations of goods and services by country.


Business Opportunities:


The Brexit leave date has come and gone and the future of the UK relationship with the EU is plagued with uncertainty which looks set to continue until at least November 2019. 


Overall, the familiar message remains one of contingency and scenario planning for uncertainty:
  • In the near term, consider exposure to possible disruptions in movement of good/services for both suppliers and customers, model scenarios of price changes (whether through logistical costs, tariffs & taxes or exchange rate movements) and consider if changes in mobility of people might impact the workforce or customer base.
  • Thereafter, think about scenarios for the possible opening up and closing down of opportunities in various markets, how the competitive landscape might alter and, perhaps in addition to planning for the downside, consider what upsides might present themselves?     
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Lebanese government opens up billions of dollars of FDI infrastructure opportunities for investment, via new Private Public Partnership opportunities. Best sectors to invest are: Property developers, Construction companies, Waste and water treatment, Transport, Infrastructure and Energy.

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Later this year, Canada is set to become the first G7 country to legalize recreational, adult-use cannabis. With the once-fledgling sector now boasting a combined market value of around $30 billion, whatever the moral or legal implications, entrepreneurs worldwide are looking to the ‘Great White North’ and considering opportunities to cash in on the so-called ‘Green Rush’.  (Article by Adams & Miles)

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AGN News in the region:

February 2019

Welcome Christa - Our new Regional Director of North America!

Last year we worked closely with the Executive Committee to give the organisation a thorough review. Our focus, as always, is to deliver member value, so we have made a few changes within the organisation to support this. 

Click here to read more about the changes in place. 


January 2018

Global Connect

AGN International Executive Office has coordinated with an organisation called “DFK International,” which, like AGN, is a high-quality, client-centered global accounting association. In order to make sure we always have the best resources for our members we are now able to call upon DFK firms, and vice versa. This provides the opportunity to further expand your connections with professionals, experts and referral sources

If you need a specific type of expertise anywhere in the world, contact your Regional Director and she will be able to make the right connection. 

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AGN Firms in the country