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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

Inaugural address: Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

Updated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden and Vice President Harris review readiness of military troops, a long-standing tradition to signify the peaceful transfer of power.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters to disrupt certification of Biden's victory. Trump did not attend Wednesday's ceremony.