Economists Still Opposed to Trump’s Economic Nationalist Program

Professional economists continue to march in lock-step against the trade and immigration policies of the Trump administration’s economic nationalism.

Nearly half of American business economists say that the U.S. should ease immigration restrictions. An additional 27 percent say that President Donald Trump should leave immigration policy as it is. Just 19% think policies should be aimed at reducing the flow of immigrants into the country.

Close to 60 percent think the U.S. should expand the number of H-1B visas issued to high-skilled workers. Fifteen percent even say that their first priority when it comes to immigration is expanding the number of visas for lower-skilled workers.

Just 9 percent support increased spending on border enforcement. A tiny 5% support increased spending for deportations.

Business economists are even more opposed to proposals to impose restrictions on trade. Twenty-seven percent say there should “never” be limits placed on imports into the U.S., while around 70 percent say the U.S. should set up import barriers only “when vital industries are threatened by unfair trade practices.”

The numbers come from a survey of 285 economists released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.

It’s hardly surprising that this group, which represents economists at big businesses like AT&T and WalMart, should find its views so out of sync with those of the Trump administration–and the American people. Prior to the election, 55 percent of economists surveyed by the NABE said Hillary Clinton would do a better job managing the economy. Fifteen percent chose Gary Johnson. Just 14 percent chose Donald Trump.


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