Sorry, Peter, I got carried away with the alliteration there. But you know
you DID say: “…and, perhaps most important,…” Which seems to suggest
you think that this consideration is not a trivial one.
The expression “free trade” certainly contains the word free, but then
(and at the risk of being charged with reductio ad Hitlerum) so does the
expression “Arbeit macht frei.” There is, as I am sure you know, a critique
of free trade from the libertarian point of view. As I recall, it goes
something like this: (1) Govts must finance their operations _somehow_.
(2) Those, like post-Civil War America, that finance their operations from
import tariffs, have little need to tax their citizens. (3) Their direct
expenses are footed by foreign manufacturers. (4) Which, since foreigners,
and domestic purchasers of foreign goods, will put up with only so much,
puts a ceiling on the govt’s appetites. (5) Untaxed citizens are freer than
taxed citizens. (6) To be sure, they are paying indirectly — via higher
prices for imports — for the operations of their govt. (7) But they do not
have to endure the intrusive and liberty-hostile activities of a vast and
insatiable govt tax-collection service.