Players from around the globe have been attracted to play in England's Premiership as a result of the large amounts of money being offered.
But Gatland told The Rugby Paper allowing foreign players to shine could ultimately be at the expense of the national side.
"You can understand people doing the best for their clubs and competitions, but you have to look at the bigger picture. What drives rugby globally is the international game. They're the things we need to consider and protect," he said.