Adam Smith's Simplified Wealth of Nations, Book 4, Chapter 8c: High Duties vs The Consumption Motive

Chapter 8c: Consumption Motive

37The exportation of raw materials is subjected to high duties, wherever they are not banned.

38 By the 8th George I. chap. 15., all British exports were rendered duty-free except for:

Except for horses, all these are either:

This statute subjects them to all the old duties, the old subsidy, and 1% outwards.

39 The same statute exempted many foreign drugs for dyers' use from all import duties.
  • They were probably disappointed in their goal.
  • 40 That statute enumerated gum senega or gum arabic as among the dyeing drugs.
  • At that time, France had an exclusive trade to it.
  • By the 25th Geo. II, gum senega was allowed to be imported from any part of Europe, contrary to the Act of Navigation.
  • Contrary to the principles of the English mercantile policy, it imposed a duty of 120 pence the hundredweight on such importation.
  • The successful French and Indian War, which began in 1755, gave Great Britain the same exclusive trade to the countries France had before.
  • By the 5th Geo. III. chap. 37, gum senega exportation from British dominions in Africa was confined to Great Britain.
  • By the 14th Geo. III. chap. 10. this duty on exportation was reduced to 60 pence the hundredweight.
  • 41 The old subsidy [duty] was levied according to the book of rates. 42"Coals may be considered both as a material of manufacture and as an instrument of trade."43 The exportation of the instruments of trade is commonly restrained by absolute prohibitions. Ban On The Export Of Skill44 Such heavy penalties were imposed on the exportation of the dead instruments of trade. 45 In the first of those two statutes, an enticed artificer, or one proven to go overseas, may give security at the court's discretion that he shall not go overseas. 46 If any artificer has gone and is teaching his trade overseas, he will be warned by: 47 Such regulations are contrary to the artificier's liberty which we seem so very jealous of. 48 The laudable motive of all these regulations is to extend our own manufactures by the depression of those of all our neighbours.

    The Consumption Motive Vs. The Producer Motive

    49"Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production;"

    50The interest of the home consumer is sacrificed to the interest of the producer in the restraints on the importation of foreign commodities which can compete with our own.

    51 Bounties on the exportation of local produce are granted.for the benefit of the producer. 52 By the famous treaty of commerce with Portugal, high import duties prevent us from buying French wines from France. 53 In the laws for our American and West Indian colonies, the interest of the home-consumer has been sacrificed to the interest of the producer with more profusion than all our other commercial regulations. 54 The contrivers of this whole mercantile system were not the consumers.
    Words: 1781

    Next: Chapter 9a: The Physiocrats