Trade talks with Donald Trump 'a waste of time for UK', says Nobel Prize-winning economist

Joseph Stiglitz says Britain should not trust the US President or waste its 'scarce resources' trying to get an agreement 

Friday 01 December 2017 20:05
Joseph Stiglitz spoke out on post-Brexit trade
Joseph Stiglitz spoke out on post-Brexit trade

Beginning trade talks with Donald Trump would be “a waste of time”, a Nobel Prize-winning economist has warned.

Joseph Stiglitz has said the UK should not trust Mr Trump and that Britain should not waste its “scarce resources” attempting to get an agreement.

Speaking to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, Mr Stiglitz highlighted that the President is looking to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

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“I think it would be a waste of time to begin negotiations with him,” Mr Stigltiz said.

“If you look at what he has been putting forward as a negotiating position in the Nafta discussions you get a feeling of how much of a waste of a time it would be. He has proposed that Nafta be a five-year agreement.

“Businesses can’t move forward with the confidence that there’s going to be another agreement in another five years, it is so absurd even the business community who supported him so much have come down and said this is a non-starter,” he added.

Mr Stiglitz warned that given the UK has to dedicate large amounts of its resources to negotiating a new trade deal with the UK, it should not “waste” time with the US.

“What Trump has done is thrown a hand grenade into international trade relationships. He’s going to renegotiate even WTO and he’s put a block in the reappointment of the judges in the WTO.

“Given the hurdles that the UK has in negotiating with the EU ... I think it would be just a waste of time for you to use your scarce resources to try to have a trade deal with the United States,” he added.

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