I must say this reality contrasts strangely with the rugged, self-reliant individualism of some of its biggest defenders; the American style libertarians and similar.
It is worth point out, though I'm no friend of aggressive protectionism, that next to no nation has become developed, in the sense we tend to use the term today, without protectionism and large state intervention. Britain for instance was built, if you can call Coketown, Gradgrind and the dark satanic mills building, on protectionism and state intervention.I certainly agree that our manufacturing sector is way too tied up with regulations. The free market should determine the fate of American industry Free trade has helped us in almost every case that it's been implemented, and tarrifs have hurt us economically. Look at the results of NAFTA, the liberaliztion of British trade in the 1840s, Jefferson's tarrifs on Britain and France during the Napoleonic Wars, and the Smoot-Hawely Tarrif that Hoover passed in 1930s.