The imports are the thing we want, the imports are what make us richer (ie, give us more of whatever for the resources we have available). Exports are just the dreary shite we have to do to be able to buy the imports.
If this doesn't seem logical, do go and read timmy's full explanation. But it is an extraordinarily important point and one which can always be used to counter the arguments of those who fear our leaving the EU "because we won't be able to negotiate good trade deals" or somesuch.
The simple answer is that we do not need to negotiate trade deals: all that we need to do is say that we will buy anything from anyone without any barriers, quotas or tariffs. No negotiation is needed.
It doesn't really matter if those other countries raise tariffs against our goods: they are simply making their populations poorer by ensuring that their imports are more expensive than they would otherwise be.
This is why the EU is a bad thing in and of itself: it is a customs union and exists to make trade less easy and more expensive. Energy-saving light-bulbs, for instance, would be much cheaper if the EU did not slap a 66% tariff on those bulbs imported from China. And why do they do this? To protect those European companies who cannot make the bulbs as cheaply, i.e. Phillips (Dutch) and Siemens (German).
So, in this case, the EU makes the Chinese poorer—keeping the price artificially high is designed to ensure that the Chinese sell fewer bulbs—and it makes the people of the EU poorer by ensuring that they have to spend more money to buy their energy-saving light-bulbs (this is exacerbated, of course, by the fact that the EU is in the process of banning incandescent bulbs).
So, as John says at Banditry...
This is also why protectionists should be lined up against a wall and shot.
Quite. And whilst that applies to anyone, it applies most pertinently to one organisation...
Unio Europaea delenda est.