China’s direct investments in the US have plummeted by almost 90 percent since Donald Trump was elected US President in 2016, according to statistics by the economic research group Rhodium Group.
The data shows that the investments shrank to about to $5.4 billion in 2018 from a peak of $46.5 billion in 2016, which amounts to a total drop of 88 percent.
The reduction comes as Washington and Beijing remain embroiled in a bilateral trade spat which has been simmering since the world's two largest economies exchanged several rounds of hefty duties after President Donald Trump announced 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports in a bid to balance the trade deficit in June 2018.
The trade row started to show signs of solving in late June, when Trump met China’s counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka in late June, where he specifically signalled readiness to avoid imposing more tariffs on Chinese goods.
At the same time, Xi warned in his G20 speech that trade disputes will continue until developed countries stop pursuing their policy of protectionism.
“We are now facing a very difficult situation at the international arena. Even though the global economy is generally growing, we are witnessing an increase in instability and uncertainty. The biggest risk is that some developed countries take protectionist and unilateral measures leading to trade wars and economic blockade.
"All of this destroys the international trade order and chain of production and this also affects the mutual interests of our countries,” he pointed out.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, for his part, warned that the global investment climate may be damaged by the US-China tariff war.
“If investors don't have the feeling that this problem can be solved soon, then the appetite for investments on both sides of the Atlantic and throughout the world is weakening”, he noted.
The warning followed Director of the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Ning Jizhe stating in January that the China-US trade dispute had a certain impact on many sectors of the Chinese economy, financial sector, foreign trade, as well as foreign capital and investment.
“I must say that [bilateral] trade and economic disagreements do have an impact on the functioning of the economy, but this influence is generally under control,” he underscored.