As concerns over a possible trade war between the United States and China grow, Chinese investments in U.S. companies has fallen. In the first half of 2018, China dumped significantly less money into the U.S. than it did during the same period last year, which experts say is indicative of the suddenly hostile nature of the two superpowers’ trade relationship.
The data came from the Rhodium Group, a research organization devoted to studying Chinese investment stateside. Rhodium Group’s newest numbersindicate that China only threw $1.8 billion at U.S. companies from January to May 2018. While that may sound like a large sum of money, it actually represented a precipitous drop from 2017.
A drop of 92 percent, to be exact, according to CNN Money.
New from @ThiloHanemann: In the first half of 2018, Chinese companies completed acquisitions and greenfield investments worth only $1.8 billion – a drop of more than 90% from the same period in 2017 and the lowest level in seven years. https://t.co/vb2kPFWb3n
— Rhodium Group (@rhodium_group) June 20, 2018
The decrease in Chinese investment started in 2017 due to regulatory measures in both countries, according to Rhodium Group.
China saw arecord high in foreign investment in 2016. In the final year of the Obama administration, China pumped $46 billion into overseas investments.
That dropped to $29 billion in 2017and just $1.8 billion at the midway point of 2018. The news comes in the midst of a tense back and forth between China and President Trump, as the two sides have lobbed tariff warnings at one another in recent months.
What startedout as an investigation into Chinese steel imports appears to have turned into a possible trade war between the two nations. Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese goods and China, in turn, did the same toU.S. goods. The exchange has had a negative effect on the stock market.
Chinese investment in the U.S. dropped dramatically from 2017 to 2018. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference at the Great Hall of the People on June 14, 2018 in Beijing, China. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
The intercontinental trade battle has affected everything from oil prices to the tech industry, with the latter particularly feeling the heat. Chinese telecom giant ZTE closed all its U.S. operations before Trump promised he would help restart its stateside business.
Apple CEO Tim Cook came away from a private meeting with Trump optimistic that the situation would not escalate too heavily or influence the price of iPhones in the U.S.
“No one will win from that — it will be a lose-lose,” Cook told CNN. “I think that, when the facts are so clear like that, both parties will see that and be able to work things out.”
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