Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/81

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COLONIAL EXPANSION AND FOREIGN TRADE.

71

testably accessible to-day on an equal basis to all the world. The key to it lies in the best terms, the best value. The trader and not the admiral governs the field. Prince Heinrich will not succeed better than Admiral von Diederichs in convincing China of the advantages Germany can offer if Mr. Carnegie's rails are cheaper than Mr. Krupp's. A whole fleet of American battle ships will not convince the Asiatics that our cotton goods are as desirable as the English so long as the latter make goods suitable to their markets, and the Americans offer only products calculated to cover the home demands.

The golden rule is a more effective trade opener than the cannon's mouth. Fair and square dealing among nations does not entail expense, but brings in good returns. Our national policy, however, has been one studiously calculated to array the world against us. Like every policy in behalf of a selfish interest, it injures the foreign people against which it is directed far less than the nation which devises it.

The trade of Australasia, Argentina, and Uruguay, and the Cape is based chiefly on wool and hides. The imports of these countries, numbering but eleven million inhabitants, amount to $440,000,000, equaling in amount the trade of China, Japan, Persia, and India, with their seven hundred and fifty million inhabitants. Though but 1.2 per cent of the population of the world (outside of Europe and the United States), their imports are 27.8 per cent of the totals of the figures in the tables. In exports they do about $400,000,000, or 24.9 per cent of the total sum of exports here given. It would be worth cultivating friendly relations with them. They are inhabited by people of European stock, and come nearer to the standard of life of Americans than any of the other nations of the globe. Our latest effort to draw them closer to us was the Dingley tariff, with its duty of eleven cents a pound on greasy wool and of fifteen per cent on raw hides. The action can not be construed as a very friendly one. But neither is the effect as calculated by the wise heads who insisted on the provisions of the wool tariff, the woolen and worsted manufacturers of the East, and the wool raisers of the West. The wool and woolen trade of America has suffered many vicissitudes during the thirty-five years of high tariffs. It has gone through many periods of depression. But it is doubtful whether at any time more disastrous conditions existed than have marked the twelve months ending at this writing (March, 1899).

The situation can be appreciated from the fact that wool, imported prior to the passing of the Dingley tariff, is being reshipped to England, where it is bringing better prices than can be obtained here under the ægis of the protective duty of eleven cents a pound. Three