Foreign direct investment in the United States dropped 32 percent, or $120 billion, in 2017 compared with 2016, new Department of Commerce figures showed.
After a two-year spike in foreign investment, the department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released Wednesday found the 2017 rate dropped to levels similar to 2014 and the years before the financial crisis.
The largest investments in the United States came from a handful of countries, with Canada topping the list at $66.2 billion of investment, followed by the United Kingdom, at $40.9 billion, Japan at $34 billion, and France at $23.1 billion.
By region, Europe contributed 40 percent of the new investment in 2017, the figures showed.
The data comes amid increasing trade tensions between the United States and some of its top economic allies, The Hill noted.
President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum on trading partners including the European Union, Canada, and Mexico this year, as well as other tariffs aimed at China — triggering a counter-tariffs.
According to The Hill, increased trade barriers could affect investment decisions, as foreign companies decide whether or not they want to invest in United States operations given the new tariffs.
The data also found, just as in 2017, the vast majority of foreign investment came from the acquisition of U.S. businesses, which accounted for 97.5 percent of all new foreign investment in 2017.
Only $6.4 billion of the overall investment was aimed at establishing new U.S. businesses or expanding foreign-owned U.S. business.
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