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The chamber of commerce of St. Etienne has already had the honor to call your attention to the fact that a treaty of commerce with the United States would prove to be highly important and conducive to the interests of our home industry, the ribbon manufacture of St. Etienne.
It is more than eight years since a tariff of customs-amounting to almost prohibi. tion--has closed up the American market against most of the products of European industries. This fact has become one of the chief causes for the sad stagnation of trade existing in the commercial circles of this continent.
As to the specialty of the St. Etienne ribbon-manufacturing branch, the value of its exportations to the United States reached in 1873 the figure of about 30,000,000 francs, embracing nearly the third part of its entire production. From that time this fignre has heen from year to year constantly decreasing until it has finally come down to a single million, thereby showing an exportation next to none. Now it seems to us that our own country does import a volume of American products sufficiently large to justify on our part an earnest effort of making that country-a country of a so pre-eminently consuming capacity-take in reciprocity a corresponding part of our industrial production.
Thanks to the labors of our Franco-American commission, the United States themselves have taken the first steps in this matter, which in our judgment should be considered as paramount to all others. In April, 1879, the American Honse of Representatives and Senate voted a resolution by which the President was reqnested to take into consideration the expediency of entering into negotiations with the French Government for the purpose of studying and preparing a treaty of commerce between the two countries.
We are not aware of the motives that may have prevented the French Government from taking advantage of these approaches so emphatically friendly.
New efforts in the same direction have since been made by the French-American commission, that body submitting to both branches of the American Congress a new joint proposition praying for the nomination of three commissioners. This resolution, left on the 5th of February, 1880, to the consideration of the Committee on Foreign Relations, has been, on the 24th of February, indefinitely postponed. As we learn from an official communication of the committee, a discussion of the matter will be taken up as soon as the “ French Government may have made known its intentions to Mr. Evarts, the Secretary of State, who will immediately send the information to the Senate.”
To sum up: It appears to ns that the initiatory steps taken privately in the matter by the Franco-American commission bave obtained all that reasonably could be expected. Moreover, it is an undeniable fact that the Government of the United States will leave the question untouched until the French Government shall have taken the same into its hands; and in the opinion of this chamber our Government cannot for bear any longer from taking due official notice of this important matter without seriously endangering the interests of this country.
The objection which might porchance be raised, “that previously to any stops on the side of onr Government the new general tariff of customs ought to be voted," should not retard action. There is in reality not the least obstacle in the way of the French Government to prevent the same from accepting without even a day's delay the proposition offered in the joint resolution of the Senate at Washington, inviting France to nominate an “official” Frauco-American commission. The nomination of such a body does not enjoin any responsibility whatever; it simply would express the desire of baring the condition of things duly considered and fairly eramined into by competent judges.
Convinced, as we are, Mr. Secretary, that you will without delay take into your hands our cause, or rather the cause of French commerce, we beg to give yon the assurance of our highest respect.
EXPORT DUTIES OF FRANCE,
REPORT BY MR, WALKER.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Department's circular of the 15th ultimo, requesting information relative to export duties levied in France on the productions of foreign countries.
In reply I beg to inform the Department that the new French Gov. ernment has in reality no export tariff,
Table B, of the new French tariff, promulgated May 8,1881, reads as follows:
TABLE B.—Export tariff.
Thus showing two articles of export " prohibited," and all other merchandise “ free."
Consul-General. UNITED STATES CONSULATE GENERAL,
Paris, March 23, 1883.
TARIFF OF SWITZERLAND.
The general import tariffs of Switzerland are light, and maintained wholly with a view to the federal revenues. The rates levied upon the articles which most directly concern American exporters are as follows, the unit of quantity being the meter centner, or 100 kilograms, equal to 220 pounds.
General import tarif per 220 pounds. Wheat, corn, and all other cereals
$0 05 Flour....
20 Meats, salted or smoked.
80 Fish, salted or dried
80 Fruits, dried or preserved.
07 Fruits, fresh
1 40 Sirup, colorless.
1 40 Sirup, raw, brown, and molasses
60 Tobacco, leaf and stems.
5 00 Tobacco, in twists
6 00 Tobacco, smoking
1 00 Snuff
1 00 Cigars.
2 00 Cigarettos ..
2 00 Leather, incolored...
80 Leather, colored and enameled
1 40 Boots and sboes, coarse
3 20 Boots and shoes, fine.
6 00 Iron and steel in bulk...
12 Iron and steel implements, polished, painted, or varuisbeil.
3 20 Machinery and castings
80 Agricultural machinery
80 Raw cotton
12 Cotton waste
12 Cotton yarns, raw
(8 Cotton yarns, bleached or colored
14 Cotton fabrics, colored or printed
3 20 Wool, raw or combod, waste, &c
12 Woolen yarn, raw, uncolored..
80 Woolen blankets...
1 10 Woolen cloths, colored and dressed.
3 20 India rubber goods
EXPORT DUTIES OF SWITZERLAND.
REPORT BY CONSUL-GENERAL CRAMER.
Referring to your circular dispatch of the 15th of February last, requesting a table or schedule of all export duties levied on the productions of foreign countries in Switzerland, I have now the honor to inform you that, having applied to the high federal council for the desired statistical information, said council gladly complied with my request by sending to this legation a table in French, relative to such export duties, a copy of which, with a translation thereof, is herewith inclosed.
M. J. CRAMER. CONSULATE-GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES,
Berne, March 28, 1883.
1.50 Mules and mulets..
50 Horned cattle and calves, weighing more than 40 kilogramy.
50 Calses, weighing only 40 kilograns...
05 Hogs: Weighing more than 40 kilograms
50 Weighing only 40 kilograms; pigs.
05 Sbeep and lambs...
05 Goats and kids....
05 Strange animals which are not transported in cars or wagons
do.. Wood for burning and charcoal
.ad valorem. . 2 per cent. Wood, sawed and cut; wood for construction; for cartwrights' work; for carpenters; rongh hewed and joined.
.. ad valorem.. 2 Wood, coarse, or easily cut, square in parts, but not in its whole length; ordinary floating wood or rafts.
ad valorem.. 3 per cent. Aspbalt...
15 Trees or shrubs in pots or tubs..
15 Common articles made of wood, such as rakes, forks, poles, &c
15 Lime and plaster of Paris, coarse, calcined, or ground; line hydraulics
15 Basket trade, coarge....
15 Slate, dressed stones, grindstones, and whetstones
15 Stones, sawel in blocks
15 Clay and chalk.
15 Ordinary earthenware .....
15 Tiles and bricks...
15 Grapes, fresh, for tablo use..
15 Wine-grapes (140 kilograms are calculated as 100 kilograme wine).
30 Wine, cider, beer, in casks.
30 Mastich of pitch
.do... Iron ore..
30 Salt (for the kitchen and for boasts)
30 Peat and turf
30 Foreign animals imported in cars (mepagerie)
1.50 Clean wastes of materials from which paper is manufactured; old cords and cables: linen, hemp, and cotton rags....
- per kilogram..
4.00 Hides, coarse, wet, and dry.
1.00 Merchandise and diverse objects, not mentionod on the tariff of exports
NEW SPANISH TARIFF.
REPORT BY MR. DWIGHT REED, SECRETARY OF LEGATION AT ALADRID. In accordance with an act dated the 6th July, 1882, providing for a new Spanish tariff, a royal order was issued on the 23d of that month. giving to the public said tariff and ordering that the same should go into effect on the 1st August.
This order, together with the tariff, was published in due time in the “Gaceta de Madrid,” but I deemed it best to await its publication in pamphlet form, together with the rules and regulations for carrying it into effect, before making a translation of the same. The pamphlet did not make its appearance until the latter part of August, since which time I have been engaged, when my other duties would permit, in making a translation of the essential part of it, which translation I have now the honor to transmit herewith, together with a copy of the pamphlet in question.
An extended review of the tariff does not seem necessary, but I deem it proper to say that its supposed benefits are only to be enjoyed by nations having treaties of commerce with Spain, and those which have no such treaty will pay the duties named in the first column, which are the same, with perhaps few exceptions, as those of the tariff of 1877.
The countries baving treaties of commerce with Spain at the time the tariff went into effect are the following: Germany, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and colonies, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Belgium, Austria-Hungary, Anam, and France and Algeria; and the countries enjoying the benefit of the most-favorednation clause are China, United States of Colombia, Japan, Morocco, Paraguay, Persia, Peru, Siam, and the Hawaiian Islands.
The treaties with Germany, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and colonies, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey will expire during the present month, and up to the present time only those with Germany and Sweden aud Norway have been extended until the 15th of December next. All the remaining countries will pay, the day after the expiration of their treaty, if no extension shall be made, the duties named in the first column of the tariff.
So far as the products of the United States are concerned, they will, of course, pay the duties named in the first column of the tariff.
DWIGHT T. REED. UNITED STATES LEGATION,
Madrid, October 26, 1882.
MINISTRY OF FINANCE (HACIENDA).
ROYAL DECREE. In conformity with my council of mivisters and the opinion of the board of tariffs and valuations, I have decreed the following:
ARTICLE 1. The inclosed customs tariff, reformed in accordance with the law of 6th instant, upon the application of base 5th of the law of 1st July, 1869, and that of
30th June ultimo, in regard to the commercial relations with the provinces of Ultra
ART. 2. In compliance with the provisions of article 4 of said law of 6th instant, the reductions of duties which result in the new tariff will only be granted to such goods as may be the product of and proceed from nations which may have in force treaties of commerce with Spain. The duties nanied in the first column of the roformed tariff shall be exacted on the goods produced in or proceeding from other nations.
ART. 3. The new tariff shall go into effect on the 1st day of August next; the duties named in the same shall be exacted on all the products and merchandise which may have been declared in the customs for consumption after said date.
ART. 4. All decrees, orders, and provisions of any kind, which may not agree with the provisions of the present decroe, are abolished.
ART.5. The minister of finance (bacienda) shall make the necessary provisions for the due execution of the preceding dispositions. Given at San Ildefonso on the 230 July, 1882.
ALPIIONSE. The Minister of Finance (Hacienda),
J. F. CAMACHO.
LAW OF TARIFFS, JULY 1, 1869.
Article 9 of the law of budgets of receipts (“ingreso8 ") for the economic year of 1869-'70,
from 18t July, 1869.
The customs tariff duties shall be reformed according to the basis established in Appendix C.
BASIS CITED IN THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE.
1. All kiuds of merchandise is admitted into trade in the Spanish dominions of the peninsula and adjacent islands, with the exception only of articles the circulation of which may be probibited by the penal laws, those of public safety, and those pertaining to articles whose sale is limited by the Government to certain persons (“estancados").
2. The exportation of all the products of the country, whether natural or artificial, of whatever kind, and of uational products, is allowed.
3. A tax on the importation of merchandise specified in the tariff, and called as heretofore customs duty, shall be exacted. This tax shall be of three kinds :
The first shall be called extraordinary, and may extend in generality to 30 per cent. of the value of the merchandise on which it may be imposed, and to 35 per cent. only in cases which may be determined by base 4. The second shall be called fiscal and may extend to 15 per cent. ad valorem.
The third shall be called balance (“balanza") tax, and shall consist of a small quantity per unit, weight, or measure.
4. The merchandise charged heretofore with a protective duty sball pay up to 30 per cent.
Articles among which are those now prohibited, and which may be determinately specified, shall pay up to 35 per cent. ; also those articles which, owing to their high price or to their general consumption, although not of an absolute necessity, shall pay a similar additional duty.
The remainder of mercbandise sball pay fiscal or balance duties in the manner which the Government may determine.
5. During six years from the 1st of July instant, the duties named as “extraordinary "sball be unalterable.
After that date these duties will be gradually reduced from the seventh to the twolith year, until the maximum rate of the fiscal duties shall have been reached. (See law of 6th of July, 1882.)
The manner of reduction for each article shall be determined in the details of the tritt.
6. Exportation duties shall only be paid on the following articles: Cork iu rough or tablets from the province of Gerona; rags of old linen, cotton, and hemp, and of used materials of the same. Lead ores sulphides (“ galenas”). Leads, and leads mixed with oil for paint (white lead), and silver leads.
The maximum of duties to be imposed on these articles shall be 10 per cent.
7. The classifications of merchandise shall be made in generic groups, and not in specific subdivisions; the standard price of the article for the imposition of the duty shall be that of greatest importation of articles included in each group.
The valuation of the goods shall be made by taking the average of the prices which