Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

tariff law, but it is an absolute prohibition of a specific American prod. uct as an American product, and the prohibition is declared to be based upon a sanitary regulation and enforced for sanitary reasons. The same may be said in respect of the discrimination practiced in Great Britain against American cattle. If these discriminations are causeless and founded upon a misconception of facts or arise from groundless fears of danger to public health, the United States has reason for complaint, and after using every meaus to remove the reason (if there be any reason) for the prohibition, they may with perfect propriety resort to discrimination as against the importations from the countries which practice these causeless and unjust probibitions against American products. This committee in its former report has submitted a bill (Senate bill 1576) which is regarded as proper and sufficient legislation for such cases, and all other unreasonable or unjust discriminations against the products of the United States.

Brazil and Mexico are mentioned in the resolution as countries who may have practiced discriminations against the United States. Con. sidering the state of trade between the United States and those countries, the export duties levied upon their own products which are exported to the United States and elsewhere have been sometimes char acterized as discriminations against this country. In the case of Brazil, the United States is a large purchaser of the chief products of that country, and Brazil is but a limited purchaser of American products. The value of imports into the United States from Brazil was, during 1883, $44,488,459, and the value of American exports to Brazil for the same period was $9,252,091, the value of imports being nearly five times the value of exports. The export duty on coffee from Brazil, for which the Uuited States is tbe best customer, is 7 per cent. ad valorem national duty, and 4 per cent. for the province of production, making 11 per cent. total export duty, and this duty has been maintained, not withstanding the fact that the United States bas placed coffee upon the free list. Export duties are levied for varied reasons, which depend upon the condition of the country of production and the nature of the product. Sometimes they are levied to prevent a drain upon the resources of the country or to prevent the loss of an article which is necessary for the sustenance of the people or the defense of the nation; but in general export duties are levied for purposes of revenue, and this latter is undoubtedly the purpose of the Brazilian export duty on coffee.

An export duty upon a product sent to a particular country, and levied only upon exportations to that country, would be an unfriendly discrimination, for which it would be reasonable to retaliate; but a general export duty without regard to destination cannot be regarded strictly as a discrimination, although the practical effect may be to seriously discriminate to the injury of those countries which furvish the principal markets for the product so taxed. Whether in such case it is better for the country injuriously affected to resort to discriminations as against the imports of the offending country, or to strive by negotiation to obtain reciprocity, is a question which must depend for answer upon the commercial and other conditions which surround or exist in the two nations. It is clearly a mistake for the United States under ordinary conditions to place any given imports of considerable consequence upon the free list without a careful consideration of the condi. tions under which such products leave the country of production, and the coinmercial relations which exist between such country and the United States, or without at least suggesting that a reciprocal advantage be given to products of the United States which may find a market in such country. We have in the case of Brazil conferred upon that country an immense benefit by placing coffee on the free list, and obtained no equitable reciprocal advantage. We possessed the power to purchase by that act valuable privileges for American commerce with Brazil, and that power was surrendered without condition, and Brazil, so far from appreciating the liberality of the proceeding on our part, has not only maintained its high export duty on coffee, but increased its duties on imports ten per centum ad valorem. In a recent letter to this committee, the Secretary of State remarks that “If for example our legislation had authorized the placing of coffee on the free list when coming from any country which by treaty or special legislation gave to us a compensatory privilege not extending to all other nations, the domestic object of freeing a necessity of life from taxation would be doubly secured, and its price to the consumer cheapened beyond our power to cheapen it by the mere removal of a duty. Had such consideration been in view, for instance Brazilian coffee might now flow to our shores unburdened by either export tax or home duty, and we might be in a position to offer to Porto Rico, Java, and other coffee producing districts a free market for their products in return for a corresponding benefit to be yielded by their Governments to us."

When in this connection we recall the fact that immediately upon the reduction and final remission of the duty upon coffee by the United States, the precise amount of the duty remitted was added to the price of coffee in Brazil, the value of the foregoing observations in their relation to future legislation in respect of either a reduction of duties upon imports of prime necessity which are not produced in this country, or of placing such articles on the free list becomes manifest. The extension of our commerce into new fields, the creation of foreign markets for American manufactures, may be eflected largely by a sagacious adaptation of our tariff legislation in specific cases to the state of our commerce with the particular countries which supply us with necessary articles not produced by ourselves. Diplomacy may be in many cases most efficient in creating new conditions under which reciprocal advan. tages to American commerce may result in the countries from which we buy largely and sell but little, and it is submitted that it may be wise generally, before extending our free list to importations of consequence, to try, at least, the etlicacy of negotiation for equitable and reciprocal benefits to ourselves.

As above indicated, the committee do not perceive that the duty of suggesting any further legislation than it has proposed "to place the United States on an equal footing with the most favored nations” devolves upon it at this time. The documents subinitted herewith furnish information from which all who study them may draw conclusions of their own in respect of the questions embraced in the resolution. It is manifest that our commercial relations with the American countries south of us can be improved very greatly by intelligent diplomacy, and the requisite legislation by Congress which should follow. It is not deemed either necessary or expedient to further outline or elaborate the views of the committee in respect to what that diplomacy and legislation should be.

NOTE.—The committee desire to acknowledge its obligation to the Secretary of State and to the chief of the customs division of the Treasury (Mr. James) for important documents, data, and memoranda furnished by them,

:

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 4, 1884. SIR: In part answer to your communication of January 26 last, I have the honor to transmit herewith copies of the tariff laws, import and export, of the countries hereinafter named, together with such comments upon their working as have been made by our consuls, especially in connection with the entry of American products and manufactures into the several countries. These papers embrace the following countries:

Europe.—Sweden, Norway, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Servia, and Russia.

Continent of America.—Dominion of Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Brazil, United States of Colombia, Argentine Republic, Chili, Peru, British Guiana, Hayti, Cuba, Porto Rico, and New Providence.

Continent of Asia.—British India and China.
Australasia.- Victoria and New Zealand.
Polynesia.-Hawaiian Islands.

Accompanying these papers will be found a table of contents showing the sequential order in which they are submitted.

Should your committee decide to publish these tariff laws, I would respectfully request that a certain number, say 300, be ordered for the use of this Department. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

FRED'K T. FRELINGHUYSEN. Hon. John F. MILLER,

Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Senate.
S. Doc. 231, pt 5—1

1

TARIFFS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTRIES.

EUROPE.

Sueden: Full text of tariff law and schedule of tariff.
Norway: Full text of law and schedule of tariff.
Germany:

1. Full text of law and schedule of tariff,
2. Effects of the tariff,
3. Proposed increase of duty on flour.
4. Effect of tariff on food prices.
5. Customs rulings against American canned meats.
6. Same.
7. Same.

8. Same. Holland:

1. Import duties of.

2. Protective tariff demanded. Belgium: Increase of import duties. England:

1. The British import tariff.
2. Our new tariff and British manufactures.

3. Tariff revision in the United States. France:

1. Full text of law and schedule.
2. French-Portuguese treaty of commerce and navigation.
3. New French tariff on sugars.
4. Tariff on American flour. Memorial of French millers.
5. American v8. French protective tariff.
6. Treaty of commerce between France and the United States. Memorial of

Chamber of Commerce of St. Etienne.
7. Export duties of France.
Suitzerland:

1. Import tariff of.

2. Export tariff of. Spain:

1. Full text of law and schedule.

2. Report on customs duty of. Portugal:

1. Export duties of.

2. Changes in tariff. Italy:

1. Full text of law and schedules (import and export).
2. Special tariff of Italy with France.
3. Reports on Italian import tax on cotton-seed oil.

4. Our new tariff and Italian exports. Austria-Hungary:

1. Full text of law and schedules.

2. Proposed duties on agricultural products.
Serria: Tariff on imports.
Russia:

1. New tariff; full text.
2. Export tariff.

3. Modification of metal tariff.
CONTINENT OF AMERICA.
Canada:

1. Tariff changes; two reports.
2. Canadian and American tariff.

8

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »