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For The Benefit Of Foreigners

For The Benefit Of Foreigners image
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A letter to the Indianapolis News f rom a leading manufacturar indicates how foreign countries are often given the advantage of our own in buying goods manuí'actured here. Yohk, Pa., July 1, 1891 . Dbar Sik: I take pleasure in acknowledging your letter of June 23, referring to aii editorial in the Indianapolis News. The News is correctly informed. "We do sell goods from 5 to 10 per cent cheaper directly to customers in íoreign countries and to jobbers for export than we do to the domestic trade. This I could not truthfully deny, nor candidly conceal. You "would like to learn the process" by which the manufacturer '"can afford to sell the foreign buyer goods í'or less than he can the home customers." The reply is simplicity itself. I receive the prices current in the markets in which I sell- I can get no more, and could not be expected to take less. The embargo upon competition of outside producers and upon ravv material advances the prices of goods in this country beyond 'any figure possible for it to reach in countries where the law visits the consumer with a smaller measure of ingenious malignity. In our export trade, however, we have occasionally some advantage in the ctrawuacK upon ímportecl raw material. This advantage is of less importance to us because of the onerous conditions by which the recovery of the drawback is attended; but it has its legitímate effect, nevertheless, in giving the foreigner our goods on better terms than our own countrymen can obtain. We sell a broad, in f ree markets, at the scantiest margin of proflt. On many of our plows for export we have less than a dollar margin for our hands and ourselves; our raw material - beams, handles, castings, steel plates, wrought bar, in the rough- costing within that figure of wliat we realize on the product. Raw material, I need not explain, is here used in its proper meaning; material in the condition in which it comes to the factory; the raw material of one industry is frequently the flnished product of another. I am in cordial sympathy with the the American farmer, and welcome every indication that he objects to paying an excess of price. I would cheerfully exchange the high domestic prices which "protection" compels the purchaser to pay upon our goods, í'or the immense advantages which free raw material would give us in both home and foreign markets. Free markets all around would be alinost as great a relief to us as to the American consumer. The wool growers of Indiana and Ohio were taught to believe that the McKinley bilí would give them better prices. But what is the result? The embargo upon foreign wools has closed many of our large woolen milis, throwing the workmen out of employment. The flne American wools are no longer in demand for mixing, and as a consequence the farmer is getting from f our to five cents a pouml less for his wool than before the McKinley bill was enacted- besides paying more for his clotbing, carpets and other woolens. Indeed the history of our tariff.legislation tends to prove that the higher the tarifif upon wool the lower the price to the American wool-grower - because of the necessity of mixing different growtlis in one fabric. There was doubly the present number of sheep in Pennsylvania in the days of compaiatively free wool. This is thé conclusión of the whole matter: That if the American farmer wishes to enjoy the twofold possible price in the pinchase of his supplies, and the best prices paid for his wheat corn and cotton exported to pay for them, the tariff embargo must be removed. Yery respectfully.