There is absolutely something inherently wrong with a free market: competition brings down not just prices, but wages as well.
Look at the number of jobs lost as the U.S. shifted manufacturing outside the country. Yes, we can get cheaper goods, but we also have flat wages for 40 years.
Our standard of living went down, while poorer countries such as China saw their standard of living increase.
I’m fairly certain that if Americans had been asked 20 years ago if they would mind lowering their standard of living so the Chinese could raise theirs, the answer would have been a resounding yes.
Free trade is a libertarian myth; it doesn’t exist, not anywhere. Whether it’s tariffs, or VAT taxes, or protectionist government regulation to create artificial pharmaceutical monopolies, enacting free-trade policies only hurts a nation, because all the other nations have their thumbs on the scale to protect their own interests.
And so should we.