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Nobel winner Joseph Stiglitz says UK trade talks with Trump ‘a waste of time’

Key Points
  • Stiglitz says NAFTA negotiations revealed how little to be gained from deals with Trump
  • Says U.K. should focus resources on future relationship with Europe
  • U.S. is U.K.'s second-largest trading partner after the EU
British Prime Minister Theresa May meets U.S President Donald Trump during the G20 summit on July 8, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany.
Matt Cardy | Getty Images

The Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has said it would be a "waste of time" for the U.K. to negotiate a trade deal with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Stiglitz said in an interview with the BBC that the U.K. could not put faith in a deal with Trump.

"No, I think it would be a waste of time to begin negotiations with him," he 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."

Stiglitz said that Downing Street should focus its efforts instead on the post-Brexit deal with Europe.

"Given the hurdles that the U.K. 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.

The U.S. is the U.K.'s second-largest trading partner outside of the EU, importing approximately 20 percent of all Britain's goods and services.

In July, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox met with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to discuss prospects of a bilateral trade deal.

Nobel winner Joseph Stiglitz takes on President Trump's trade policy

On Tuesday, Stiglitz told CNBC that Trump's attacks on free trade and globalization would harm American growth.

"Closing up borders, which is what Trump says, is going to lower standards of living. His agenda is going to leave American workers even worse off," he said.

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