One of the big critiques of a hyper-globalized supply chain in which America’s manufacturing was outsourced was that it would, in a time of crisis, put America at a huge disadvantage. Unable to produce needed equipment or pharmaceuticals, we’d be left at the mercy of the countries who did.
But, says the economic theory of free trade, this would never happen. Because if one country turned off the spigot, we’d simply go elsewhere, to another country willing to sell to us. Maximizing imports, after all, is the entire point of the unilateral free trading strategy.