Opponents of free trade will often say publicly that they are all for free trade but it must be "fair," which they generally would define as balanced between imports and exports. This is a dodge, because they know many of our trading partners are not going to open up trade to be entirely free so they can use that inevitability as an excuse not to remove American protectionist barriers.
But trade does not need to be balanced to create wealth, and in fact it is not just exports that provide a boost to real incomes. Daniel Ikenson at Cato has these two charts comparing the CPI for items that face competition from imports and those that don't:
See his article for more discussion.
This is also related to something I read about a while back, that we may be underestimating income gains among the lower income quartiles in this country because we adjust to real wages based on an average inflation rate. The argument was that the inflation rate for the poor has been lower (the Wal-Mart effect) than the inflation rate for the rich (prices at the Four Seasons keep going up). One estimate put the difference in inflation rates as high as 6 percentage points, in part because the poor proportionally consume a lot of goods that are imported while the rich consume proportionally a lot of services that are produced domestically with high cost labor.