There's too much technocratic mumbo jumbo about trade. Not least the dribbling nonsense that trade is something permitted by government rather than something prevented by government.
Here's the deal - it's pretty simple:
The argument for free trade is not (as some protectionists caricature it) that it creates heaven on earth; the argument is not that free trade is sufficient or even necessary for sustained and widespread economic growth; the argument is not that every instance of trade being made freer works in textbook fashion. Instead, the foundational argument for free trade is that a government’s obstruction of its citizens’ voluntary commercial transactions with foreigners denies to its citizens gains from trade no less than its obstruction of its citizens’ voluntary commercial transactions with each other. In short, the foundational case for free trade is that trade that spans across political borders improves people’s economic well-being no less than does trade that occurs domestically.You can make all sorts of reasons why not having free trade might be justified. But you really can't argue that free trade makes folk less well off - that's a straight up lie.