Former US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has warned the British government not strike trade deals with the administration of US President Donald Trump after the UK leaves the European Union (EU).
Clinton, who conceded a surprising defeat to Trump in last year’s presidential election, told BBC on Sunday that Trump was opposed to trade.
“You’re making a trade deal with somebody who says he doesn’t believe in trade, so I‘m not quite sure how that’s going to play out over the next few years,” she said.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have been playing up the prospects of increasing trade with “old friends” like the US and “new partners” like China, India and Japan after Brexit.
May visited Trump at the White House in January and invited him for a state visit. The two countries share $200 billion of trade each year.
The US remains the largest importer of British goods, dwarfed only by the EU as a whole. In August, for example, 14 percent of British exports were headed to the US while the EU’s 27 members imported around 50 percent collectively.
In late July, Trump announced in a tweet that he was working on a “major trade deal” with the UK.
Earlier that month, he met May on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Germany’s Hamburg, assuring her that “trade will be a very big factor” in their “special relationship.”
Brexit vote outcome of ‘media lies’
Elsewhere in her interview, Clinton drew an analogy between the 2016 US presidential election and Brexit, advising British officials to watch out for fabricated media reports.
“Looking at the Brexit vote now it was a precursor to some extent to what happened to us in the United States... The amount of fabricated, false information that your voters were given by the ‘Leave’ campaign,” she said, referring to the controversial June 2016 referendum that saw anti-EU voters win by 52 percent.
She claimed she was subject to a similar treatment by the media and warned that Britain and other countries must be alert to the risks coming from the online news outlets.
“The big lie is a very potent tool,” she said.