Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/24

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

hands, but we have thus lost opportunities of export. If an American locomotive is shipped, as many have been, to the Argentine Republic in competition with English engines, it has to be sent in English boats via Liverpool, our people standing the disadvantage of the additional charges, time of transport, and interest. Under these circumstances we lose all trade except that gained by great superiority, as in the case of locomotives. Thus the very duty intended to benefit the iron industry reacts. It secures the home market for the manufacturer, but destroys the foreign market, and in times of inactivity, or when the market is glutted by overproduction, there is no opportunity for relief by recourse to a foreign customer. Again, if our manufacturers wanted a machine not to be obtained in America, or raw materials to be had here only at great expense, the Government taxes them at a fearful rate. I am credibly informed that it is for this reason that Mecham & Co., glass-manufacturers of Pittsburg, have resolved to locate in Belgium, where they can get their materials and machines free. So with the Rochester tumbler-works, which, I am also informed, are about to leave an illiberal country. It is thus that we may see one reason for the existence of the great American business colony in Europe. This country pays a premium to many industries to get out of it. Obviously, too, our railway lines lose heavily by the diminished volume of exchanges, just as they would if State or country tariffs were set up. They pay thirty per cent extra for their supplies, and, by way of compensation, are deprived of part of their natural trade. Turn where we will, we find derangements, if not actual loss. Placing, as protection does, everything upon an unnatural footing, liable at any moment to give way, it would be irrational to expect sound and healthy industrial growth. The hysterical fear of some of the protectionists, that English competition and "pauper labor will "crush" American industry, is rather ludicrous, in view of the history of the American and English competition. If there has been any instance where English competition has not been successfully met in America I do not know it. Indeed, Cobden himself recognized that the United States were the great and only menace to English commercial supremacy. Not to mention others, Mr. Gladstone is quoted as saying, in a public speech: "I will say this, that as long as America adheres to the protective system your commercial primacy is secure. Nothing in the world can wrest it from you while America continues to fetter her own strong hands and arms, and with those fettered arms is content to compete with you, who are free, in neutral markets."

That protection has any effect in fostering "trusts" has been vehemently denied, but so have many other obvious propositions. Protection lessens the number of possible competitors, and conse-