This has been the way that Americans operate for about as long as trade existed. Realistically though, other nations probably feel the same way; trade should occur only if it benefits them. According to economists, people act rationally, and rationality dictates looking for opportunities that benefits the person.
Participants in the survey showed little concern for foreign workers if their well-being came at the expense of even one American’s.
It’s interesting because in some cases American well-being comes at the expense of foreigners’.
When countries make trade agreements they attempt to come up with one with mutual benefits. The trick is the amount of benefit allocated to each participant. While considering the relativity of cost and benefit is more practical for all participants of trade, nations look at cost and benefit in terms of their own, because at the end of the day, the trade has to work for their own people, otherwise why enact it?
It is sadly selfish, but that is how the system inherently operates. A nation will not realistically give up the chance for a better agreement for its people to benefit another unless they come to a negotiating point where benefit still outweighs cost.