The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected a bid by a Chinese-linked consortium to acquire the Chicago Stock Exchange, amid widespread political opposition to the deal.

The exchange, which handles less than 1% of daily US stock trading, was hoping the sale could be a springboard to a brighter future, attracting new listings and investments from China.

Unfortunately for the institution, the deal came at a complicated time in US-China relations when it was first proposed during the US presidential election campaign of 2016. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly cited the transaction as a sign of America’s declining competitiveness.

“China bought the Chicago Stock Exchange — China, a Chinese company,” Trump said in a speech in 2016. “They are taking our jobs. They are taking our wealth. They are taking our base.”

In August of last year, SEC staff reportedly recommended that the deal be approved, but amid stiff opposition from US lawmakers then announced its commissioners would review the sale.