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President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Artyom Ivanov\TASS via Getty Images

Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States dropped from a peak of $46.5 billion in 2016 to $5.4 billion in 2018, according to data from Rhodium Group reported by the New York Times.

The big picture: The chilling effect that President Trump's trade war has had on trust between the two nations is among several factors that could explain the nosedive. Amped-up regulations, tariffs and an overall shift in attitude toward China's growing global influence has helped reverse the trend of Chinese investment in the U.S., which had previously been accelerating.

  • China has also faced slowed growth in its own economy, causing Beijing to tighten its purse strings. The dip in investment has had an effect on a wide range of American industries, including real estate, the tech sector, state and local governments, and more.

What to watch: As the New York Times' Alan Rappeport writes, "Even if the two countries reach a trade deal, tepid Chinese investment is expected to continue. The administration is rolling out new barriers to investment, including controls on the types of American technology that can be sold overseas and placing Chinese firms like Huawei on a government blacklist."

Yes, but: A decline in Chinese cash is not the end of the world for the U.S. economy, which gets far more foreign direct investment from the U.K., Canada, Japan and other countries. Rural states where Chinese investments have helped revive floundering industries, however, are likely to see more damage.

Go deeper: China's economic growth slumps to 27-year low amid Trump trade war

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Inside Biden's Taiwan flubs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Twice this year, President Biden has blurted out commitments that the U.S. is prepared to defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion — forcing the White House to walk back his statements and leading to confusion over a high-stakes national security policy.

Why it matters: U.S. defense officials have publicly aired their concerns that China will take Taiwan by force in the next four to six years, perhaps sooner. The president's position on this question may soon have real-world, life and death consequences.