I hadn’t thought about it but people trade with other countries. I choose to buy a product made somewhere else. The government, for the most part, can only make that easy or difficult.
Some of the political obfuscation about foreign trade is lifted when we recognize that it is not really nations trading with one another. In other words, the U.S. Congress does not trade with the federal government of Mexico, England’s or France’s parliaments or Japan’s Diet. It’s individual Americans who, through private intermediaries, trade with: Mexican Ford manufacturers, English clothing manufacturers, French wine producers and Japanese automakers.