Ron Paul sets out his views on free trade in an interview with CFR:
How would you approach globalization and trade differently from a McCain administration or the current Bush administration would?
[Ron Paul:] I consider myself the strongest advocate of free trade. I don't want any tariffs and I don't want any barriers. I want to really trade. But I just don't like the international government organizations, because that becomes managed trade for the benefit of some companies. So I'm not much into nor do I support WTO [the World Trade Organization] and NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement] and all these agreements, because those are only tools for when you're being undermined, you go there to get your tariffs put on, to try to get fair trade, so to speak. But that's managed trade.
The suggestion that the WTO and NAFTA are places to go "to get your tariffs put on" seems way off the mark. I would really like to have the opportunity some day to talk to people with this view to understand how they came to their conclusions.
On the other hand, putting that point aside, the idea of "unilateral" free trade raises some interesting questions for me. For example: Where exactly would be today in terms of free trade, without international agreements or organizations? My best guess is that trade barriers would be much higher, but is there some small chance that if we had spent the last 50 years talking about tariff cuts as something other than "concessions," we would actually have made more progress?