I added this comment to an excellent essay by CATO's Dan Griswold:
The U.S. should declare itself a free trade nation, regardless of the actions of other nations. As we become more prosperous, our example will do more for the free trade movement than all the international agreements and excellent essays, such as this one, combined.
There is another, more basic, reason for free trade. Frederic Bastiat explained in his 1850 book The Law that man is born free. He owns himself. He is not owned by any other men or by a government, because government is formed by free men and, as such, can do only what other free men can do...and enslave another is not one of those things. From this basic and unassailable tenet Bastiat explains the limits of government. Forbidding trade among men is not a legal power that can be exercised by a legally formed government.