IMPORTS AND EXPORTS (ante), or Foreign Trade of the United States. In 1840, when ocean steam navigation began to be successful, the entire imporkitions of merchan dise into the United States was valued at only $86,250,335. The largest value of mer chandise in any one year's importation was in 1873, the total being $642,136,210. The offset of exports for the years named was $111,660,561 in 1840, and $505,033,439 in 1873. From 1863 to 1873 the value of imports of merchandise largely exceeded the values of exports, the excess of imports ranging from $39,371,368 in 1863 to $182,417,491 in 1872. During the years ending June 30, 1876, '77, '78, and '79, however, the value of exports of domestic merchandise from the United States has greatly exceeded the value of imports, the excess of exports increasing rapidly from year to year. The countries from which imports come are, in the order of value for 1879: Great Britain, $108,538,812; Cuba, $68,649,656; France, $50,684,601; Brazil, $39,375,441; Germany, $35,519,818; British America, $26,133,554; China, $18,084,694; British East Indies, $12,225,770; Japan, $9,845,562; Italy, $7,884,327; Colombia, $6,330,946; Spanish possessions, $5,533, 067; Mexico, $5,493,221; Dutch East Indies, $5,435,331; Venezuela, $4,855,034; Porto Rico, $4,384,954; Belgium, $4,209,232; British West Indies and Honduras, $8,719,085; Netherlands, $3,680,932; Argentine Republic, $3,518,105; Spain, $3,334,241; Hawaiian islands, $3,257,938; Hayti, $2,790,476; French West Indies and Guiana, $2,634,090; Central America, $2,251,589; Peru, $1,857,859; Uruguay, $1,780,140; all other coun tries, $8,770,303; total imports in 1879, $445,777,775. The principal articles of importa tion, and their value in specie, for the years ending June 30, 1878 and 1879, are given in the annexed table: In the following table is given the value of the principal commodities of foreign pro duction in which there has been a considerable decrease of importation since 1873, the year of the highest total importation: Exports of merchandise from the United States have increased rapidly in value in recent years. In 1845 the exports were a little less than $100,000.000 in value; in 1897 the value was $710,439,441. In 1845 the imports nearly equaled the exports; in 1879 the imports were only about 63 per cent of the exports. During 1879 the exports of
domestic produce of the United States to Great Britain and Ireland amounted in value to $346,485,881, being 50 per cent of the total export of domestic merchandise for the year. There was a falling off in value of $37,121,030 from the preceding year, though the quantities of the several articles were about the same, the difference being caused by a decline in prices for cotton, wheat, corn, and some other articles. In the same period the value of exports to France rose from $54,289,918 to $88,194,041, the increase being chiefly in wheat. The principal countries to which the agricultural and other products of the United States are sent stood, in the order of value of exports in 1879, as follows: Great Britain and Ireland, $346,485,881; France, $88,194,041; Germany, $56,164,391; British America, $28,281,569; Belgium, $27,470,003; Russia, $15,959,701; Netherlands, $13,802,840; Spain, Cuba, $12,201,691; Italy; $8,657,403; Brazil, $8,106,928; Australia, $7,042,875; British West Indies and Honduras, $6,779,153; China, $5,930,594; Mexico, $5,400,380; Colombia, $5,199,648; Portugal, $4,897,290; Turkey, $3,089,230; Hayti, $3,148,757; Japan, $2,674,601; Austria, $2,640,648; Hawaiian islands, $2,288,178; Denmark, $2,284,784; British Africa, $2,168,076; Sweden and Nor way, $2,138,461; Argentine republic, $2,083,401; Venezuela, $1,926,923; Porto Rico, $1,771,483; British Guiana, $1,719,827; French West Indies and Guiana, $1,535,768; Dutch East Indies, $1,447,510; Gibraltar, $1,297,820; Peru, $1,293,991; Chili, $1,253, 555; British East Indies, $1,142,196; Central America, $1,110,603; all other countries, $8,538,270; total exports of merchandise from the United States in 1879, $699,538,742.
In the following table is a comparison of the quantities of leading articles of export for three years, with the increase in 1879 over 1876: This immense commerce is done mainly by foreign vessels. In 1850 the percentage carried in American vessels was 72.2; in 1879 it was only 23. There has been a gradual but regular decrease of ocean trade in American vessels since 1808.