It strikes me that the “free traders” are describing some kind of idealized system THAT DOESN’T EXIST! They’re like the Ayn Randians – brains malfunctioning, fixated on a simplified utopian description.
Is is the words used? “Free” sounds so nice.
Science is supposed to DEscribe. Ideology is “if only people would do so-and-so”. I suggest that even the use of the words “free trade” is a drift into ideology.
Is it “free” trade when China pegs its currency? Is it “free” trade when other countries MURDER people who try to form unions? Is it “free” trade when workers live in barracks surrounded by barbed wire, paid not even enough to have a place to live? Is it “free” trade when costs are externalized by dumping chemicals in the water and the air?
I say we require “market development” tarrifs on imported goods. The tarrif would reflect the wages paid by the exporting country: the more they pay, the lower the tarrif. This DEVELOPS A MARKET for our own goods, instead of just sending our jobs away with nothing in return.