What issues are likely to be top of the new President's in-tray?

Americans are currently voting for their 45th President - but the new incumbent will have no time to rest on their laurels once they come to office with a host of pressing issues to deal with at home and abroad.

So, what's likely to be top of the stack in the new Commander-in-chief's in-tray?

  • Defeating Islamic State

During the election campaign the question on how to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria was one of the key issues at the top of the agenda.

America's stance to date has been that ground troops will not be sent to either country to defeat the group, will this policy change or what new ways will be proposed to tackle IS?

Tackling so-called Islamic State is likely to be a pressing issue. Credit: Reuters
  • How to solve a problem like Syria?

After a five-year bloody civil war in Syria, which has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians, and failed international attempts to broker a peace deal between President Assad and Syrian rebels, there appears to be no end in sight to the conflict.

The US has led the international coalition carrying out airstrikes against Islamic extremists in Syria, but despite supporting the main opposition coalition and calling on Mr Assad to go, are reluctant to get involved militarily.

The previous Obama administration called for negotiated settlement to end the war and the creation of a transitional government. Will this change?

Residents inspect a damaged site after an airstrike in a besieged neighbourhood in eastern Aleppo Credit: Reuters
  • Thawing frosty relations with Russia

Diplomatic relations between the US and Russia are currently at their lowest point since the 1970s, largely because of frictions over Syria's crisis.

Will there be a new era of relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Credit: Reuters

Russia supports the Assad regime and has joined government forces in its intense bombing campaign on the besieged city of Aleppo, aimed at targeting rebels. Many civilians have been killed and hospitals and buildings damaged.

Ties between Washington and Moscow have deteriorated further in the past month after the collapse of a ceasefire.

  • US economy

Money matters will be on the mind of the new President. Credit: PA

Turning to home and Americans will be looking to the new President to provide leadership and policies which will help kickstart the nation’s economy amid sluggish growth. 

  • Healthcare

Healthcare was an issue which garnered a lot of attention during the presidential debates, especially President Obama's landmark affordable healthcare scheme.

The so-called "Obamacare" has been criticised and continually challenged by the Republicans since it was introduced. So it remains to see whether it will be scrapped or drastically changed.

  • Racial tensions after police shootings

There have been many protests across the US against police shootings of black men. Credit: Reuters

After a spate of recent controversial shootings of black men by white police officers, there has been rising racial tensions and distrust of the police.

With the Black Lives Matter movement drawing a focus on the issue and a growing number of prominent black celebrities also speaking out, such as tennis star Serena Williams, basketball legend LeBron James, this is an issue that will be on the agenda.

Gun control laws

Gun controls were a key issue during the election campaign amid increasing gun violence and after a sit-in protest at the House of Congress during the summer, the president may take aim at revamping existing laws and rights.