I do not consider an increase in inter-country trade a good thing in and of itself, though that view is common among economists and in the media. For most economists increased trade reflects a putative more efficient international allocation of resources derivative from competition on a global scale.
Rarely noted is that free trade theory is consistent with a decline in bilateral trade due to the likely possibility of different demand preferences between countries and, more esoteric, re-switching of techniques. Except in technical articles one tends to find the blanket generalization that liberalising trade increases bilateral and multilateral flows and that is unambiguously a good outcome. In that context I look at EU trade patterns since the euro’s use became generalized in the early 2000s.