Simplified Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Book 4, Chapter 3c, Part 2: Unreasonableness or Fallacy of Equilibrium

Chapter 3c, Part 2: The Unreasonableness of those extraordinary Restraints on other Principles

30 In Part 1, I showed how unnecessary it is to lay extraordinary restraints on foreign imports from those countries with a disadvantageous balance of trade, even on the principles of the commercial system.

Equilibrium Fallacy

31 Nothing, however, can be more absurd than this whole doctrine of the balance of trade, on which these restraints and almost all the other regulations of commerce are founded.

32 To me, advantage or gain means the increase of the exchangeable value of:

It does not mean the increase of the amount of gold and silver.

33 If the balance is even, and if the two countries trade their native commodities, they will both gain equally or very near equally. 34 If one of them exported only native commodities while the other exported only foreign goods, the balance would still be even. 35 There is probably no trade between any two countries which consists in: Almost all countries trade partly native and partly foreign goods. 36 If England paid for imported French goods with gold and silver, the balance would be supposed uneven since commodities are not paid with commodities. 37 "It is said, It is a losing trade which a workman carries on with the alehouse;" 38 By those maxims, nations have been taught that their interest consisted in beggaring all their neighbours. 39 Without a doubt, it was the spirit of monopoly which originally invented and propagated this doctrine. 40 The wealth of a neighbouring nation is dangerous in war and politics.
Next: Chapter 3d: Balance of Produce and Consumption