But its legislature did what they could to enrich themselves from lobbyists and to grow the Federal Government - by introducing tariffs.
Industrialists in the Northern states decided that trying to compete with foreigners was too hard, and that the easiest way forward was to get the Government to force the people of the United States to buy higher-priced tariff-protected domestic goods.
Southern businesses were relatively impoverished because they were forced to pay extra for European goods. The tensions from this price-slavery arguably contributed to the Civil War.
After the Civil War ended tariffs were raised sharply - because the Northern industrialists had got their way through warfare.
The American people were made poorer by the new tariffs - to pay for the bloody war brought on by the economic distortions caused by the original tariffs.
Both before and after the war the Northern industrialists were able to use their protected positions to get rich off their captive populations. Hmm, I'm not sure why you regard this as a win?
"American firms competed against other American firms" - yes, in a restricted class. This is similar to what happens in peewee hockey, womens' football and the Special Olympics. It may be necessary for sports, but its not something to be proud of in business.
Tariffs don't even prevent you from buying anythign foreign. You just have to pay a little more for it.
So tariffs are ok, because businesses don't compete on price? Got it.
Why compete with a communist country with 800 million excess workers willing to work for peanuts if doing so is going to devastate your industries, throw Americans into the unemployment line, increase the national debt, and America more dependent on foreign countries?
We've got the biggest consumer market, let's use it to our advantage and put Americans back to work.
When we are back to full employment, we can talk about when and how to make use of cheap communist labor. But right now we are following an out-of-business strategy that is quickly reducing us to third world status.