A country can also be an autarky. The United States is now close to being self-sufficient in energy, which is why OPEC has been destroyed. And it should be self-sufficient in energy (I can remember when gas was close to five dollars a gallon – back when that incompetent buffoon George Bush started a couple of unnecessary wars).
“Free market” economists are horrified by self-sufficient countries. Such economists are globalists – who believe in “efficiency” above all else, including common sense. Guess what? The hell with them.
Is sending trillions of dollars to the Middle East for their oil “free market”? When they used it to stab us in the back? (Saudi Arabia funded the Wahabis who pulled off 9-11 – so that dry-drunk crackhead Dubya Shrub invades Afghanistan and Iraq instead of Saudi Arabia?)
Is sending all our knowledge and wealth to China “free market”? When they too stabbed us in the back and are using what we sent to them to try and dominate their neighbors?
Absolute Advantage is the only reason for trade with other countries. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper to import bananas from Central America than grow them in greenhouses in Minnesota.
Comparative Advantage? That was destroyed about two days after David Ricardo, a second-rate economist, came up with it.
I see no reason to import steel either. Many of our steel mills are at less than full capacity. And not by a little bit. By a lot.
The United States is a huge, rich country full of smart, educated, innovative people. In fact, we lead the world in innovation. Think fracking, which can produce oil for about two dollars a barrel (when I was a teenager gas was 32 cents a gallon – and I know older men who told me when they were teenagers it was 17 cents a gallon).
We certainly don’t need to be importing stupid people either, unless we want to shoot Idiocracy Part II. The English, Scottish, Germans and South Africans, yes. I understand their immigrating here. Mexicans, Africans, Muslims? What the hell? Do we need an increase in every crime imaginable?
I pointed out recently that Western Europeans created/discovered/invented about 98% of everything in recorded history.
We need more of them and less – a lot less - of everyone else.
We are completely self-sufficient with the people we have.