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blankets, and blankets of wool with cotton warp, or bound or
bordered ; also laces and silk thread or thread of mixed
silk and woven stuff's and any other articles of silk or silk
mixtures, including floss silk, etc.

The 35 per cent, tariff applies to woollen stuff's in general,
whether of pure wool or mixtures.

The 25 per cent. tariflraff"ects all merchandise not burdened
by a special tax. That of 20 per cent, affects bar, strip and
ribbon steel, and unbleached cotton cloths.

The 15 per cent, tariff affects oak, cedar, pine, spruce, and
tissues of silk intended for bolting flour. The 10 per cent,
tariff affects certain chemical products, and also cocoa, tin,
machinery in general, agave fibres, jute, and hemp fibre for
making mats, etc. That of 5 per cent, which is the lowest,



216 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

is imposed on turpentines, steel wire for fencing, ploughs,
jewellery, sulphur, cotton, whether raw or in the thread for
industrial purposes, sewing-thread, sacks, and other various
articles.

Besides the above there are some ninety-five articles or
products on which specific duties are imposed.

Since 1900 a legislative factor, at first sight unimportant,
but in practice of the greatest advantage, has to a certain
extent modified the vexatious character of the Argentine
tariflf. This factor consists in the relative stability imposed
by Congress on the customs law, by the suppression of the
annual revision to which the rate of valuation was subjected,
which change has allowed commerce to establish its trans-
actions on a definite basis; whereas they were formerly
contingent upon the continual modifications of the said tarifi'.
This step, like so many others, was initiated by the ex-
Minister, Senor Jose Maria Rosa.

Exaggerated values were always at the base of these
tariffs, and the abuse became so notorious that the present
Minister of Finance, Dr Terry, was himself obliged to
recognise "that reform was essential in the matter of the
rectification of all these valuations, in order that the Customs
Administration should not strike indirectly at imported
products by taxes far in advance of those intended by the
legislative power." A new tariff has been in force since the
1st of January 1905, and although it also has given rise to
a certain degree of recrimination, it is none the less an
improvement upon the former state of aflairs. As for the
export duties, here again we find notable discrepancies
between the valuations and the market prices which ought,
on principle, to serve as their basis. They were established
after the crisis of 1890, and as they were now no longer
justified by insufficient resources, they were suppressed by
Congress reckoning from 1906.

These customs duties on exported goods were established
by the Argentine Constitution, but not in a permanent
manner. The Charter enacted that they should be in force
up to 1866 ; but at that time, the country being at war with
Paraguay, a Convention was convoked, which postponed the
settlement of the matter for some years.



I



FOREIGN TRADE 217

In 1887 the export duties were suppressed; but in 1900,
after the terrible financial crash, they were once more
established, in order to relieve the heavy burdens and
engagements of the Treasury.

These duties were from 4 to 100 per cent, ad valorem, and
were principally directed against leathers and hides, wool
washed or unwashed, ostrich plumes, tallow, fat, animal oil,
horns, etc.

As may be seen by this simple enumeration, these duties
weighed upon the by-products of stock-raising as they left
the country for the markets of foreign consumers, and this
after they had already been subjected to other heavy charges,
in the shape of land taxes, customs duties on wire for fencing,
and many local taxes, while agricultural products escaped
scot-free. For this reason it has always been considered
that the export tariff had no equitable basis, and all the
Argentine Administrations have for this reason endeavoured
to suppress it, as the Congress finally did in 1905. Whether
we are dealing with exports or with imports we always find,
as we have seen, an inflation of prices on both sides, so that
the figures of the official statistics have not so much an actual
as a comparative value.

There is still one important item to be remarked in
respect of imports : it is that the import duties in recent
years have been first raised then lowered. Additional duties
amounting to 10 per cent, were established when the dispute
with Chili seemed about to end in war — that is, on the 29th
of January 1902 — at which time a supertax of 5 per cent, was
added to the tariff which had already been in force since
1899. Since then these duties have been finally suppressed
(in January 1904). It is obvious that with these variations
we have not always the same basis of valuation, as the
imports are variously affected by these variations themselves,
so that all exact comparisons are impossible.

We must also take into account the value of the imports
which are not controlled by the customs. Competent persons
have estimated that these amount to about 20 per cent, of the
goods passing through the customs, which represents a sum
of about £2,000,000.

Again, the figures we have quoted do not include the



218 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY



movements of currency or bullion, which during the last six
years have been as follows : —



Year.


Metallic Imports.


Metallic Exports.


Balance.


1902 .


... £1,781,817


£614,868


+ £1,166,949


1903 .


5,217,237


239,230


+ 4,978,007


1904 ..


4,983,590


320,858


+ 4.662,732


1905 .


6,511,908


163,875


+ 6,348,033


1906 .


3,642,464


301,124


+ 3,341,340


1907 .


4,710,545


626,777


+ 4,083.768


1908 .


5,730,243


8,963


+ 5,721,280


1909 (six


months) 7,888,781


2,991


+ 7,885,789



The increase observed from one year to the other in the
importation of bullion is in direct relation to the increase
of exportations : it corresponds to the consignments of
gold, coming especially from the London market, in order to
expunge the commercial balance in favour of the Argentine.

In the light of these observations we will now examine
the commercial movement in itself, while noting its distribu-
tion according to the various countries which exchange
their products with the Argentine.

We will then give a list of the principal articles entering
into the composition of this foreign trade.



Here is a
for the first
origin and in

Country of Origin.

Great Britain ..,

Germany

United States ...

France

Italy

Belgium

Brazil

Spain

Uruguay

Holland

Paraguay

Cuba

Chili

Bolivia

Other Countries



Imports

table of imports for the years 1906-1908, and
six months of 1909, classed according to their
order of importance :

1907.



1906.

£18,965,987

7,683,252

7,894,979

' 5,348,975

4,824,727

2,425,608

1,328,205

1,473,654

366,648

302,349

261,794

135,916

105,643

26,822

2,829,544



£19,587,148

9,162,234

7,768,455

5,093,605

4,800,648

3,179,370

1,569,871

1,458,894

494,551

352,401

282,867

115,396

110,965

25,375

3,170,354



1908.

£18,674,279

7,569,417

7,119,401

5,295,385

4,982,649

2,550,674

1,457,189

1,723,622

441,407

407,606

301,991

136,137

145,398

31,212

3,758,181



1909.

(Six months).

£9,416,405

4,305,742

3,704,917

2,998,.346

2,706,014

1,309,920

751,923

859,013

269,740

212,714

185,114

59,607

39,756

13,443

1,414,952



Totals



£53,994,104 £57,172,136 £54,594,547 £28,276,906



FOREIGN TRADE 219

Great Britain is always at the head of the list of imports,
the total of her products imported by the Argentine in 1908
being £18,674,279. Among these products one of the
greatest importance is coal, of which 2,338,949 tons were
imported in 1907, representing a value of £3,274,528. Woven
fabrics of all kinds attained a value of £3,038,694; railroad
material £2,703,945, and sacking for making up into sacks,
£296,585.

Germany now occupies the second place. The imports
from Germany, worth £7,569,417 in 1908, are of all kinds,
and include almost every kind of product consumed by
the Argentine. On account of her various industries, metal-
lurgical products holds the first place ; then come woven
fabrics and paper.

The United States send principally agricultural material,
petroleum, and pine timber ; the imports for 1908 were
£7,119,400 in value; or nearly twice the value of the
Argentine exports to the States. This situation is explained
by the fact that both countries export the same products —
cereals and cattle, etc.

France comes fourth, with £5,295,385 worth of produce
in 1908. Her products, like those of Germany, are very
numerous in kind. The largest imports are of woven fabrics,
wines and spirits, metallurgical products, pharmaceutical
specialities, and perfumery. Taking the item of wines
and spirits alone, the Argentine imports £228,000 worth
of bitters and vermouth and £202,560 worth of wines in the
wood.

Italy sent £4,982,649 worth of imports in 1908. From
Italy the Argentine imports the largest quantity of wines
and of bitters, valued at £922,938; olive oil accounts for
£394,133, rice for £295,667, cheese for £181,949 (the weight
of this import in 1907 being 2,274 tons) ; in short, all the
articles most in demand among the Italian emigrants.
Woven fabrics attained a value of £927,857.

Far below the countries already named, with an amount
of produce less than half that imported by France, comes
Belgium (£2,550,674 in 1908); then Brazil (£1,457,189), and
Spain (£1,723,622). Belgium sends principally metallurgical
products ; Spain her wines and oils and salt. Brazil sends only



220 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

a dozen or so of products ; the most important being coffee,
tobacco, and especially the yerba mate ; a herb analogous to
tea, and used as a beverage in the country districts. Brazil
and Paraguay, which supply it to the Argentine, sent
£1,046,183 worth of the herb in 1908.

The table given below shows what are the principal
products imported by the Argentine Republic, and show the
considerable increase which has taken place in all branches
of importation : —








1906.


1907.


1908. (^


1909.
.St six months)


Alimentary products


£3,532,509


£4,183,187


£4,709,819


£2,226,053


Beverages


2,358,808


2,526,748


2,655,956


1,155,965


Textile materials and fabrics


10,826,008


9,466,638


9,982,267


5,787,076


Mineral oils, and chemical


I)








and phai'maceutical pro-


y 3,092,766


3,254,653


4,048,175


2,174,871


ducts


i








Woods, furniture, etc.


1,122,444


1,272,008


1,262,573


728,178


Iron, machines, materials,
implements, utensils, etc.


1 6.988,461


6,632,228


6,015,097


3,401,912


Coal and other mineral pro-
duce


1 4,182,160


4,126,910


4,979,839


2,229, 1'24


Various products*


21,890,946
. 53,994,102


25,709,763
57,172,135


20,960,820
54,594,546


10,544,272


Totals ..


28,507,351



We see from this table that the Argentine relies on
foreign imports for the greater number of metallic, chemical,
and textile products, and even for a great many food-stuffs.
An essentially agricultural nation, she has not as yet de-
veloped her industrial equipment, nor has she been able
to undertake the transformation of the raw materials at
her disposal into manufactured products. The development
of her agriculture is the object which has hitherto absorbed
all the initiative and all the capital of the country.

It is this dependence upon foreign countries for so
many articles of prime necessity that makes the cost of
living in the Argentine so high. All these articles have
to pay customs dues varying from 5 to 50 per cent, ad

* Under this heading of various products are included railway material —
rails, chairs, locomotives, etc.— to the value of £4,672,486 in 1905, £7,011 ,072
in 1906, £10,464,150 in 1907, £6,015,097 in 1908, and £3,401,912 during the
first six months of 1909. Building materials amounted in value to £4,400,339
in 1906, £4,604,078 in 1907, £4,236,485 in 1908, and £2,492,276 in the first
half of 1909.



FOREIGN TRADE



221



valorem; dues which still further increase the exaggerated
valuations of the Customs Administration.

On the other hand, these imports are by no means so
decentralised as the exports ; they are brought as near as
possible to the centres of consumption, so that they shall
not be forced to pay fresh freight dues in the interior. The
Customs House of Buenos Ayres handles 84'9 per cent, of
the imports; Rosario 92 per cent.; La Plata 1-9 per cent.,
and Bahia Blanca -8 per cent. As we see by these figures,
the Federal Capital almost monopolises the imports, whence
arises its disproportionate development as compared with
the rest of the country.



Exports

Here is the table of the exports of the last three years,
arranged according to their destination, in order of import-
ance : —



Destination.


1906


1907


1908


1909

(l8t Six months)


Great Britain *


£8,644,807


10,743,230


15,644,944


10,207,653


France


7,152,671


7,-552,409


5,782,750


4,761,514


Germany


7,883,4139


7,284,611


0,950,399


4,280,523


Belgium


5,124,279


5,918,420


7,155,637


5,531,015


Brazil


2,378,203


2,803,686


3,019,115


1,729,824


United States


2,666,422


2,188,087


2,604,647


2,411,460


Italy


1,381,225


1,043,893


1,581,571


1,508,815


Holland


595,047


834,818


1,059,934


623,634


Spain


514,515


387,121


519,920


248,823


Chili


277,107


370,133


307,501


297,018


South Africa


791,600


303,118


172,088


24,662


Uruguay


1,000,880


275,328


154,891


112,329


Cuba


49,478


144,890


57,891


42,046


Bolivia


65,719


121,010


118,745


75,616


Paraguay


41,003


36,530


42,733


17,166


Other destinatiouK . .


755,324


598,740


921,081


792,241


Shipments to order


19,122,949
58,450,766


19,252,891


27,085,119
73,201,008


17,710,457




59,240,874


50,354,688



In the matter of exports the first place is again held by
England, with an exportation of £15,664,944 in 1908 as
against £10,743,230 in 1907, an increase of £4,421,714.

• It should perhaps be explained that the totals are correctly converted from
the Argentine values, but are not the exact sums of the columns of figures, as
these latter are for economy of space printed without the following decimals
that result from conversion. The error in any one case is infinitesimal — from
x^th to ro'uijth of 1 per cent. — [Tbans.J
P



222 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

England is the Argentine's largest client in the matter of
agricultural produce, taking ] 6 per cent, of the whole amount
exported. In 1907 she spent £3,789,509 on chilled meats;
£1,843,954 on cereals — wheat, maize, and linseed ; £1,212,471
on wools ; £193, 834 on butter, and £379,810 on sheepskins
and cowhides, dried and salted, Australia also imports wheat
and maize from the Argentine.*

The export trade to England is still capable of a far greater
expansion, if England will only determine to allow cattle
on the hoof to be imported once more ; an import she denied
herself some years ago, on account of anthrax, and one which
the Argentine is eagerly begging her to resume, under proper
sanitary regulations.

It is England which has hitherto preserved the closest
balance between her exports to and imports from the Argen-
tine, and no other country has so far been able to oust her
from her dominant position in the Argentine foreign trade
From this we see that the ties which unite the two countries
have nothing factitious about them ; a fact which is still
further emphasised by the statistics of English capital em-
ployed in the Argentine.

Germany holds the second place, with her £6,950,399 oi
imports from the Argentine (in 1908 : £7,284,611 in 1907)
After England, she is the greatest consumer of Argentin<
wool ; the exports of this product in 1907 amounted in value
to £2,846,213. Other articles absorbed by Germany are hides
(to the value of £1,045,41 7), and cereal products — wheat, maize
linseed, and bran — (to the value of £1,013,426). The Germai
imports from the Argentine do not, however, include cattl(
or chilled meats.

France, up to 1876, occupied the first place on the scale o
- Argentine exports. To-day her imports from the Argentiu'
amount to ;£5,782,750 only (1908), or nearly £10,000,001;
less than the English imports (in 1907 they amounted t^
£7,552,409). Her purchases in the Argentine are confined t<
a very few products, of which the chief est is wool, the valu
of the export in 1907 being £4,908,510, or a little less tha:
half the entire Argentine production. Then come hides, t
the value of £1,508,764 ; then linseed, maize, and wheat t

* These figures are for 1907 except where otherwise stated. — [Trans.]



*






FOREIGN TRADE 223

th« value of £309,956, £322,473, and £271,488 respectively,
the whole imports from the Argentine in 1907 being
£7,552,419.

The French system of Protection has so far stood in
the way of the trade in Argentine cereals, and has absolutely
prohibited the entry of animals or chilled meat. The interests
of the French agriculturalists and cattle-breeders have
hitherto come before the interest of the consumer, which is
to obtain the products necessary to life in the cheapest
market. But overtures are being made, by the common
agreement of both countries, which may eventually open the
French market to Argentine meats, in return for certain
concessions granted to France, relative to the exportation of
her own products — her wine, silks, woven fabrics, etc.

The marked and progressive decadence of the Franco-
Argentine trade ought to rivet the attention of French
capitalists and statesmen. Hitherto numerous ties have con-
nected France and the Argentine. The fundamental code
and the legislative system of the South American Republic
have been impregnated by the spirit of liberty, equality and
fraternity proclaimed by the French Revolution. The Argen-
tine mind is fed upon French thought, science, and literature.
It is now, however, to be seen that the intellectual influence
of France is losing ground, as well as her commercial influ-
ence, as to-day the sense of national fraternity is based upon
solidarity of interest.

Now the decadence of French trade with the Argentine is
truly alarming. If we consult the publications of the National
Department of Statistics, we find, for instance, that in the
thirty-one years from 1876 to 1907 the German exports to
the Argentine have increased by 2450 per cent, ; the Belgian,
by 1002 per cent. ; those from the United States by 1898 per
cent. ; Italian exports by 907 per cent. ; English by 992 per
cent. ; but French exports have increased only by 204 per
cent.

Compared with other nations, Fra*nce has least been able
to hold her own in the matter of trade with the Argentine.
In 1876 the importations from France formed 23*2 per cent,
of the total imports ; while in 1908 they formed only 9-9 per
cent, of the totals, making a proportional diminution of 18-3



224 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

per cent, in thirty-two years. Our imports from England,
however, which in 1876 were 24*9 per cent, of the total, had
increased to 34 percent, by 1908 ; representing a proportional
increase of 9 per cent.

We are thus justified in concluding that all our efforts
to develop the current of Franco-Argentine exchange will
contribute powerfully to fortify the influence of France, and
the sense of confraternity between the two Latin nations.

The causes of the decay of the French trade have been
recapitulated in an official document despatched in 1904 by
the French Chamber of Commerce in Buenos Ayres to the
Minister of Commerce,

These causes may be summarised as follows :

1. The exaggerated duties to which many of our pro-

ducts are subjected on entering the Argentine.

2. The competition of local industry with the imports

of certain products.

3. The dearness of labour in France, and the conse-

quent cost of manufacture, which in many cases
no longer permits us to struggle against our com-
petitors.*

4. The imperfection of our equipment for making

certain articles.

5. The persistence of our manufacturers in disregard-

ing the tastes of their clientele.

6. The insufficiency of the credit granted by French

manufacturers and merchants as compared with
those of other competing countries.

7. The frequent lack of technical knowledge on the

part of foreign commercial travellers; a lack
which almost always prevents them from benefit-
ing as they should from direct contact with their
customers.

8. Finally, in the matter of navigation, the expensive

character of our vessels, and the resulting dearness
of freight, t i

* The case of France is especially interesting, because her tendency ie towardsij
self-sufficiencj' — the reverse of the policy of nearly all other countries.

t See Rapport d M. le Ministre du Commerce sur les causes de la diminution
du commerce J'ran<^aise dans la Ripuhliqzte Argentine, 1904.



FOREIGN TRADE 225

Belgium imports some £5,918,426 worth of produce from
the Argentine (£7,155,637 in 1908). She receives much the
same articles as Germany : £1,456,196 worth of wool, and
£2,285,174 worth of cereals, of which £1,551,228 goes for
wheat. We find a new item figuring in the Belgian imports
— extract of beef — to the value of £173,885; this extract is
made by Kemmerichs, the rivals of Liebigs, who manufacture
their extract on the Uruguay.

Of late years the Argentine has gained a new client —
South Africa. During the Boer war an extensive export
trade sprang up, in live animals, chilled meats, and cereals,
and this trade has been maintained. The value of the
exports to South Africa in 1908 was £172,088 (£303,418 in
1907.)

Brazil also imports alimentary products from the
Argentine: cereals, and especially wheat and flour. The value
of the exports to Brazil in 1908 was £3,019,115. Between
the two principal countries of South America — Brazil and
the Argentine — economic relations are promoted by con-
venience ; Brazil furnishing the produce of its prosperous
and varied forms of agriculture — coffee, yerba mate, tobacco,
etc. — in exchange for Argentine cereals and cattle.

In North America, on the contrary, the Argentine finds
few outlets for its products, as the two countries have
almost the same products. The exports to the United States
were £2,188,087 in value in 1907 ; £2,604,647 in 1908 ; con-
sisting almost entirely of hides, wool, and extract of
quebracho for tanning; while, as we have seen, the
exports of the United States to the Argentine reach the
value of £7,100,000.

The Argentine Government has given much thought to
the disadvantages of this commercial situation ; it has sought
means to remedy it, but so far has adopted no practical
measures. It has also endeavoured to conclude a commercial
agreement with Brazil, but without success, because in
South American states questions of race-antagonism often
give rise to the gravest problems. This fact also explains
why the attempts to establish a commercial treaty have so
far failed.

In his last message, however, the President of the Republic



226 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

admitted that negotiations were in progress with a view to
opening up new markets and to increase the mutual trade of
the Argentine and other countries. He even announced that
a commercial treaty with Chili was almost completed. On
the other hand, as arbitration treaties have just been con-
cluded with Brazil and the United States, we may infer
that these countries are not systematically opposed to any
understanding with the Argentine.

Holding positions far inferior to the foregoing countries
are : Italy, which in 1908 received £1,581,571 worth of
Argentine products, principally maize and hides ; Holland
receiving £1,059,394 worth of imports, comprising linseed
and cereals (maize and wheat); Uruguay, importing live-stock,
meat, sugar, hides, etc., to the value of £154,891 in 1907
(£275,328 in 1908) ; Spain, importing maize, hides, and fats
to the value of £387,121 in 1907 (£519,920 in 1908); and
Chili, importing Argentine produce to the value of £370,133



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