Since the beginnings of people living in social groups millennia ago, goods have been exchanged in one form or another. Through imports and exports, consumer choice improves, prices are reduced, business opportunities expand and economies grow. The essential mathematics explaining the process were worked out in the early 1800s. The pandemic-induced supply chain problems illustrated the interconnectedness of the contemporary world and how dependent consumers are on a steady stream of imports.
Trade is necessary for the proper functioning of the economy. Most of the products exported from the United States have been manufactured or processed in the country, creating opportunities for companies that manufacture, market, transport, process, create or otherwise participate in the production chain as well as their employees. The training effects increase the benefits. For imported goods, there are downstream impacts for inputs to manufacturing processes, and even finished goods lead to logistics, retail sales, and other activities.