Trade tensions slowing foreign investment in S. California: business leaders

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-22 19:40:53|Editor: xuxin
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LOS ANGELES, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Tariffs and economic uncertainties triggered by U.S. trade policies are causing headwinds against foreign investment in Southern California, said head of an international trade promotion organization.

"Some of the trade policies are influencing decision-makers around the world," Stephen Cheung, president of World Trade Center Los Angeles, was quoted on Monday by local newspaper Orange County Register as saying.

On the recent trade disputes between the United States and China, he said tariffs impact the flow of goods between nations, and thus reduce business and investment opportunities.

"With the U.S.-China impact there is a direct correlation. It's nothing new ... but it has shaken the confidence of both manufacturers and investors," he added.

Cheung's remarks was echoed by Brenda Xu, a corporate attorney of Squire Patton Boggs Los Angeles Office, a global law firm that has represented clients in U.S.-China cross-border deals for more than two decades.

"In 2019, the rate of major acquisitions and investments has slowed down a bit, especially with respect to investments from China into the United States," Xu told Xinhua on Tuesday.

"This may be partially attributed to trade tensions and uncertainties over markets," Xu added.

Cheung also noted that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which is intended to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, has not been approved by Congress although it was signed by all the three governments last year.

"Some companies don't know if there will be a tariff with Mexico and this is going to be dragged into the political climate for the 2020 presidential race," he said.

"There won't be a lot of support from either side because it will become a scapegoat for domestic turmoil. It's easy to point to international trade as the culprit," he added.