The fact that people live in separate nations and trade unbalances exist; however, their welfare depends on the welfare of the nation. The key to a nation's strength or vulnerability is in the way they deal with other nations.
It may be assumed that periods in American industrial success were a laissez-faire, but in reality advances in the wealth of our nation was protectionism.
In the 1800s, the United States placed heavy tariffs on English-made rails for our growing railroad system, and this led to the emergence of a productive American steel industry. America advanced not by a free market waiting for something to happen but by deliberately promoting the desired results: protectionism through tariffs.
Lack of protectionism is why the United States lost the economic advantage after the prosperous '50s and '60s other nations developed their industries supplying American consumers with cheaper goods while they had high tariffs on imports and ours were much lower.
A society's overall wealth is determined not by what a society can buy "a wide selection of goods at low prices" but what it can make itself. The tree that bears the fruit is more important than the fruit itself. If a nation decides to help itself by protecting its own industry, then that is a decision, not a sin.
The use of protectionism through tariffs has provided evidence that can increase a nation's wealth.