Saying that Donald Trump “has misled the electorate” and is “a dangerous, destructive choice for the country,” a group of 370 economists have penned an open letter denouncing the Republican nominee and encouraging voters to choose another candidate.
The signatories, Nobel Prize winners among them, did not endorse Hillary Clinton in the letter, but some were also involved in a separate open letter released earlier in the week that did make their endorsement explicit.
Trump has broken with traditional Republican economic ideology during the campaign and has embraced — among other policies that diverge from traditional Republican orthodoxy — a platform that is skeptical of free trade.
The letter, which was first published by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, slammed the businessman-turned-politician for promoting “magical thinking and conspiracy theories over sober assessments of feasible economic policy options.”
With one week until the election, the economists included a bullet-pointed list of criticisms directed at the Republican nominee, asserting that Trump had degraded “trust in vital public institutions that collect and disseminate information about the economy” like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which releases jobs numbers.
They also derided Trump for claiming that renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or slapping tariffs on Chinese imports would restore manufacturing jobs — the loss of which, they said, was more the result of technological improvement than trade.
The letter also took issue with his fiscal policies, saying that he had “lowered the seriousness of the national dialogue” by proposing cuts that would not affect the budget deficit.
Peter Navarro, a Trump economic advisor and economist at the University of California at Irvine, issued a response in a campaign email.
“A close look at this letter indicates a clear case of the dog that didn’t bark,” he said. “The letter was very careful not to support Hillary Clinton’s economic plan and it’s no secret why.”
Navarro also addressed the free trade concepts referenced in the letter.
“This new letter is an embarrassment to the corporate offshoring wing of the economist profession who continues to insist bad trade deals are good for America,” he said. “This is a classic case of reality running roughshod over talking points.”
Earlier this week, 19 Nobel-winning economists publicly supported Clinton in a previous open letter that was published on Monday.
“We have decided to sign this letter jointly to express our shared judgments that Hillary Clinton is eminently qualified to serve as President, and Donald Trump is unfit for this office,” the Nobel laureates, including Joseph Stiglitz wrote.
A few weeks ago another letter from 306 economists condemned Clinton’s policies in an open letter published by The Hill. Like the most recent letter, that letter did not endorse a candidate.