Mr. Jackson to Mr. Sherman.

No. 157.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a note sent by me to the Imperial foreign office to-day—after consultation with Consul-General Goldschmidt, who, at my request, kindly furnished to me the figures given in the note—in regard to the effect of the new American tariff upon trade between Germany and the United States. My reason for addressing the foreign office upon this subject at this time is in order that that office may be possessed of the authentic statistics in regard to it, as distorted statements in regard to the decrease in American exports from Germany during the last quarter, together with still more distorted conclusions drawn from the same, have frequently appeared in the German newspapers during the past week or two.

I have, etc.,

John B. Jackson.
[Inclosure in No. 157.]

Mr. Jackson to Mr. von Bulow.

The undersigned, chargé d’affaires of the United States of America, has the honor to inform His Excellency Ambassador von Bulow, acting secretary of state for foreign affairs, that he has just been furnished with authentic reports from the American consular officers in Germany, which show that the total value of the exports from Germany to the United States for the quarter ending September 30, 1897, was $14,839,459.73, as compared with $26,233,467.41 for the same quarter of 1896. An analysis of this decrease (which amounts to $11,394,007.68), shows that more than one-half of its amount (or $6,591,917), is in the article “sugar” alone. From the consular districts of Bremerhaven, Brunswick, Hamburg, Magdeburg, Stettin, and Breslau the value of [Page 180]the sugar exported to the United States in the third quarter of 1896 was $6,662,951, while in the quarter just ended the amount was $78,034.

In this connection, however, the undersigned begs to call attention to the fact that the increase in the value of the total exports from Germany to the United States for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1897, over their value in the preceding year was $21,219,779.81, the whole amount of which is due to increased exports from the six districts above mentioned, the increase and decrease from the other districts in Germany approximately being equivalent to each other.

In view of this enormous volume of imports into the United States, just before and in anticipation of a change in the American tariff, and of the consequent overstocking of the American market—which was especially the case with sugar—it was, of course, to be anticipated that, for the next quarter at least, the returns would be kept below those of similar periods immediately before the enactment of the existing American tariff. It would therefore appear to be nothing more than reasonable that if the decrease during the past quarter is to be attributed to the new tariff, the increase during the last fiscal year above referred to should be considered at the same time, and that no conclusions should be drawn (as has been done in the German press), in regard to its possible or probable effect upon trade between the two countries concerned until abnormal conditions have disappeared and the value of the goods exported from Germany to the United States is again determined by the actual demand for such goods, and not by the fictitious state of the markets.

The undersigned avails, etc.,

John B. Jackson.