« PreviousContinue »
It will be seen from the figures that the total external trade of the colonies in 1913 was 7 billions of dollars, out of the world total of nearly 43 billions. The colonies other than the self-governing Dominions contributed 5 billions. The absolute amount of colonial trade is therefore considerable, and there are three points lending special importance to it. First, the trade of the colonies has been growing at a more rapid rate (percentage) than that of other countries. The total colonial trade was, in 1903, 16.1 per cent and, in 1913, 18.3 per cent of the world total. The colonies other than the Dominions increased their share of the total from 10.1 to 12.1 per cent. In no case did the trade of a mother country increase as rapidly as that of its colonies.38 The Dominions had a more rapid commercial development than did other temperate countries, and the
but the statistical methods of some of the colonies may have been changed within the decade. The figures for the British possessions other than Egypt include bullion and specie. The Dominions produce and export gold and silver, while India is a large importer of treasure; but the movement of specie into and from Egypt roughly balances, and, as it is an unusually large item (see p. 302), it has been omitted. clusion in the Indian figures of Government stores and treasure, whose values were practically the same in 1903 and 1913, and of reexports and overland trade, which increased less than 50 per cent in the decade, considerably reduces the percentage of growth for Indian trade. The sea-borne trade of merchandise imported for private account, and of exports, the produce of India, increased by 82 per cent in the decade before the war.
2 Years ended March 31, 1904 and 1914.
3 Throughout the table the totals and the amounts and percentages of increase have been obtained from figures carried to the nearest thousand instead of to the nearest million. Reducing or raising the figures to the nearest million introduces slight discrepancies in some of the final digits of the totals and in some of the percentages. The figures of the table may be compared with the following figures for the Dutch Colonies, carried to the nearest thousand:
*Including Guam and Samoa, whose total in both years was less than half a million: 1903, $275,000; 1913, $389,000; per cent of increase, 41.5
Dairen was not a Japanese colony in 1903 and trade figures were not published until the latter part of
6 1902 and 1912.
7 Figures unavailable.
8 Not an Italian colony until 1912.
9 Bulgaria, Abyssinia, and Haiti are omitted. For Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Liberia, and Montenegro, figures for other years than 1903 and 1913 have been used.
10 These figures are, or are based on, the totals of amounts in the third column and not the differences between the totals of the first two columns, i. e., they show the increase only for those colonies for which figures are available for both years, and not the increase due to territorial acquisitions.
The world total is the sum of the totals for the various countries; but as the same transaction is recorded in one country as export trade and in another country as import trade, evidently the world total thus arrived at shows approximately twice the value of the goods which actually cross national frontiers.
37 It is not meant to imply that the relative trade importance of colonies can be examined definitively on the basis merely of figures of gross trade, even disregarding the statistical difficulties encountered in making comparisons between trade returns compiled in different countries and by varying methods. The gross values of the trade of two colonies may be the same in amount and yet the trade of the two be utterly different in importance estimated by any other standard. For instance, among the criteria of impor tance are: Percentage of profit; possibilities of growth; the degree to which the products involved sup ply "key" industries; the proportion in which, if any, the products constitute natural monopolies. Statistics taken from a number of different countries may not have been compiled on the same basis as to values or valuations, may not possess the same degrees of accuracy, and may vary as to the grouping of items and the inclusion or exclusion of coin and bullion, government stores, and transit trade.
38 This rapidity of growth reflects the newness of many of the colonies, the extension of their railways, the establishment of plantations, and the smallness of the trade upon which the percentage is based. The rate of progress in comparison with older countries must therefore decrease, but it is probable that the trade of the colonies will gain in relative importance through several decades.
other colonies kept pace with the tropical regions of the world.30 Secondly, the imports of the colonies consist largely of manufaci tured articles, including prepared foodstuffs. While their trade is less than one-fifth of the total international trade, they offer a market for perhaps one-fourth of the manufactures exported by the industrial nations. Thirdly, in like manner, the colonies supply perhaps one-fourth of the raw materials which enter international trade.
If tropical products alone be considered it appears that in 1913 the trade of the tropical and subtropical colonies was twice that of the independent countries of the same latitudes. A comparison of the areas and populations of the independent and colonial powers of the Tropics makes it seem probable that this predominance of the colonies in supplying the world with tropical products will continue. No figures have been collected to show the total trade of countries other than the United States with the world's colonies, but the relative importance to each of the colonial powers of the trade with its own colonies is roughly indicated in Table 3.
TABLE 3.--Importance of the colonial trade to the mother countries.
[Trade of each mother country with its own colonies in 1913 expressed as a percentage of its total trade.1]
The figures of the table are roughly comparable, but only roughly, for the use of percentages does not avoid all the difficulties involved in comparing the trade figures of different countries. (See Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Miscellaneous Series No. 59, Methods of Computing Values in Foreign Trade Statistics.) The figures have not been revised to insure uniform exclusion of government stores and bullion. The figure for Japan rests partly upon an estimate and in some cases colonial figures have been used in comparison with those of the mother country.
When preferential tariff rates are extended only to goods the product of the mother country (as distinguished from goods reexported from the mother country) figures for the origin of the goods are probably fairly accurate. Otherwise the figures are apt to include reexports of products of other origin. For instance, the more careful consideration of the source, after Australia introduced her preferential tariff in 1907, reduced the imports credited to Great Britain from 62 per cent to 52 per cent of the total.
TRADE OF THE UNITED STATES WITH THE COLONIES OF THE world.
The interest of American manufacturers and merchants in the differential colonial tariffs has been growing rapidly. This is true both of the import and the export trade. The statistics already presented showing the total value of colonial trade and the rapidity of its growth suggest the potential importance of colonial markets as an outlet for prepared foodstuffs and other manufactures, but their immediate significance for American trade is much decreased by the fact that so many of the colonies partially exclude it by differential import duties. More immediately to the point are the figures of Tables 4 to 7 which show (1) the extent to which the development of
The percentages shown in the table are 109 and 107. Though both figures are averages, the degree of accuracy present in the figures is not sufficient to justify a statement that the relative growth of colonial trade was greater than that of the independent tropical countries. 40 Including Mexico and Brazil, but excluding China,
American industry has already made our manufacturers dependent upon foreign markets for the disposal of their products and upon foreign sources for their raw materials, (2) the growth of American exports to and imports from the leading colonies, and (3) the growth in our total imports from all sources of the chief commodities of which the world derives. more than half of its supplies from colonial
Even before the war intervened to stimulate the process, the United States had developed steadily as an exporter of manufactured articles and an importer of raw materials. Table 4 shows the increasing percentage of raw materials in American imports since 1870.11
TABLE 4.-Average annual values of manufactured articles exported and of raw materials imported, excluding foodstuffs, since 1870.
1 Manufactured articles exported include both manufactures ready for consumption and those for further use in manufacture, but the figures for raw materials imported do not include manufactures for further use in manufacture. This latter class increased from about 9.5 per cent in 1899-1903 to 19.27 per cent in 1913 and 19.57 in 1919. During the war it fell as low as 14.17 and in 1920 it was 15.28. The figures through 1914 are taken from the Annual Report of the Chief of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, 1916, page 8. The other figures are compiled from Commerce and Navigation of the United States, 1917, and from the Monthly Summary of the Foreign Commerce of the United States, June, 1921.
In bringing the table up to date, it has been arranged to show the abnormal rate of change during the war; but the period since the war has given no reason to expect that the steady tendency of the preceding half century will be reversed.
Table 5 shows the value of the trade of the United States with the various colonies of the world in the fiscal years 1900, 1913, and 1920. The most important colonies are shown separately and the others are grouped in political divisions. Table 6 shows the same figures in a more condensed form and grouped by geographic rather than by political divisions. The tables show that in a period of twenty years there was a tenfold increase in the value of American imports from the world's colonies, as compared to total importations which grew 6.2 times. The exports to colonies increased, according to these figures 8.8 times, while the value of total exports was increasing only 5.8 times. Table 6 brings out the importance of Canadian trade in the total, particularly that Canada has taken half or more of our total exports to all colonies. As tropical products, however, have come to form a larger percentage of our total imports, the importance of Canada in supplying our raw materials has de
41 The figures exclude foodstuffs whether raw or partly or wholly manufactured. percentage of foodstuffs in American trade has considerably decreased. In 1870-79 foodIn 1910-14 stuffs constituted 39.41 per cent of exports and 37.03 per cent of imports. these percentages had decreased to 19.78 and 23.54 per cent, respectively.
TABLE 5.-Trade of the United States with the colonies of the world,1 1900, 1913, and 1920.
1 Commerce and Navigation, 1900 and 1913. Monthly Summary of Foreign Commerce of the United States, June, 1920.
* In 1900 exports to Tripoli (Libia) were included with exports to Egypt.
3 Malta and Cyprus contribute not over 20 per cent of the total.
4 For 1913 and 1920 Porto Rican figures for exports to the United States and imports from the United States, respectively, have been used.
5 Figures for 1919, as reported by the Governor of Guam.
Including St. Pierre and Miquelon. French Guiana and St. Pierre and Miquelon supplied the greater part of the imports of 1900 and 1913 but less than on-fourth of the other items.
The imports from the Dutch East Indies have fluctuated greatly between 1890 and 1913. The highest figure during that period was that for 1900 and the lowest that for 1913. The average imports of the three fiscal years 1897-1899 were 17,149,000; for 1901-1903, 16,669,000; and for the four years 1909-1912, 14,345,000. Including not over $4,000 in any year from or to Portuguese India.
The Spanish possessions in Africa contribute less than 5 per cent of the totals.
10 Omitting Kiaochow. Figures for the ex-German possessions in the Pacific are not separately recorded for 1920. Their trade with the United States in 1913 was one-sixth of the total American trade with German possessions.
"This item is for Libia only, which was not an Italian colony in 1900.