I had asked whether our markets would be better served with a tit for tat approach to tariffs rather than a more dedicated insistence on free trade on imports. If I had any lingering doubts on the subject they were laid to rest after reading Why Politicians Are Wrong about Imports and Jobs. Unless the graph in that post is entirely fabricated the free markets are the beneficiaries if they import goods that have been subsidized by more closed markets at a lower price than they could produce themselves.
Admittedly the graph is a bit confusing with the vertical scale changing from the left side of the graph to the right, but the trend is that over the last 48 years imports have doubled while unemployment has been cut in half. While these imports might take specific jobs away from the country they do not reduce the total number of jobs. The turnover creates the added benefit of encouraging those in the workforce to keep improving themselves. The relative ease and complacency that would undoubtedly come from a static economy would guarantee that we would become less competitive in a global market.
Update 2/27/08: Thanks to the persistent questions of mackenzie I went back to look at the graph to see if I had missed anything. A more accurate reading of the graph (remember the confusion I talked about with the different vertical scales) shows that imports went from 4% to 16% of GDP (a four-fold increase, not double) and unemployment fell from 9% to 6% (it fell by one third rather than by one half). While the actual statistics have changed I think the conclusion remains that imports do not appear to adversely affect employment rates.