Let's face it. Even the US is guilty of protectionist policies that have been far from the ideal of free trade.
I agree, and note that I did not suggest otherwise. I don't know of any nation in the world that is entirely free of such prectices. The U.S. does it far less than does Europe. However, that is not the point.
The cited nations in Western Europe are pursuing protectionist policies of a kind and to a degree that they will not be able to sustain for long, and which are significantly threatening their ability to compete in a changing world. Moreover they are depopulating at a rapid rate. This is a pernicious combination that cannot endure.