Bilateral investment, particularly for the US, is important because it creates jobs and improves two-way trade, he notes.

To the extent to which the tensions between the US and China impede further investment, it actually frustrates the goal of the US policymakers, because it becomes harder for the US to sell the things that it has a comparative advantage in.

Analyzing potential scenarios for eastbound Transpacific container trade, Drewry suggested earlier this week that, in the worst case, as much as 1.8 million TEU, or nearly 1% of world loaded traffic could be lost to the market over a period of time, significantly damaging shipping.