Mercantilism viewed trade as a zero-sum activity—one country’s gains come at the expense of some other countries, since a surplus in international trade for one country must be a deficit for some other(s).
Mercantilist thinking is still very much alive today. It now has a sharp focus on employment. Neo-mercantilists believe that exports are good because they create jobs in the country. Imports are bad because they take jobs from the country and give them to foreigners."
Mercantilist thinking pervades discussions of international trade in countries all over the world.
–Pugel: International Economics, Twelfth Edition