I posted this as part of discussion in today's Cafe Hayek:
I think you just struck the heart of the differences:
From your point of view there are NO NATIONAL INTERESTS, only economic decisions that favor you.
From my point of view, there is a national interest in ensuring a competitive system that is not RIGGED by one of the players to irrevocably harm the other players... especially when those actions, on a global scale, weaken the ability of U.S. industries (and suppliers, and associated service industries, and associated professionals, and associated communities) to remain economically viable.
I do not believe that "I got mine" is a viable economic strategy for the members of any group, population, nation, when the rest of the group, population, nation is in jeopardy.
So far, the only player guilty of "protectionism" is China which government has been actively working to expand many of its industries through subsidies and other favorable operating conditions.
And that really seems to be working for them. The strategy is relatively simple: create an artificial imbalance that will temporarily benefit some portion of a competitor's industries while gradually eliminating others. Once competition in one sector has been crippled, target another. That way, while the targeted industry is being crippled, the other industries remain silent because they are temporarily benefitted.
It's classic divide and conquer.
But don't worry... you got yours... for now.