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These figures demonstrate that, while in the past 10 years California has trebled its production, the imported show only an increase of a little over 60 per cent in the shelled and of about 70 per cent in the unshelled.
We fail to see how these figures bear out the statement that the California producers have suffered from competition
of the foreign nuts. It may, therefore, be stated that besides the increase of production, the enormous prices at which their crop has bees sold in the past few years greatly added to the prosperity of those growers. As the imported have not competed with them in quantity, neither have they competed is price, the California product having consistently sold at prices far above those realised by the imported.
It may be noted, however, that in these past few years the high prices obtained have shown a tendency to curtail demand, and the best informed men in the trade realize that, if this trade is to maintain the prosperity it has enjoyed in the past. prices must evidently settle at a level somewhat lower than those lately prevailing
For these reasons this chamber is opposed to any increase of duty at this time, it being convinced that the present duty, having been sufficient for protection and rete nue up to now, will be even more so in the future.
Walnuts, like the other nuts in this schedule, are a nutritious food, and consumpua should be encouraged rather than discountenanced. The unshelled walnuts, like all other unshelled nuts imported, are used strictly in connection with baking and the manufacture of confectionery. They compete with no industry in this country, and are a necessary article to the trade which they supply: Coming in, as they do, 363 raw material, and competing with no home product, duty should only be levied 17 the interest of revenue. The present rate of 4 cents per pound should be considered ample for this. Any advance would only embarrass this trade, curtail imports, su cause unnecessary high prices here.
This chamber, therefore, respectfully recommends that the duty of 2 cents to pound on unshelled walnuts and of 4 cents per pound on shelled walnuts be unchangat, and in case that is not possible no higher rates be levied than provided by the Fordne: tariff bill.
[Paragraph 50.) The Fordney tariff bill proposes a duty of 71 cents per pound both on container abot contents, if in containers weighing with the immediate container less than 44 pont, and of 64 cents per pound of olive oil not specially provided for. The emergency lanh levies 50 cents per gallon on olive oil in bottles, jars, kegs, tins, or other par kages he'ing a capacity of less than 5 standard gallons each; and of 40 cents per gallon in othecontainers not specifically provided for in said section.
The proposed rates mean an increase over the present duties respectively of cents per gallon on oil in bulk and of 7 cents per gallon on oil in packages.
This chamber desires, first of all, to impress upon your committee the necessity to duty on olive oil should continue at no higher rates than those of the emergency ta' now in force, which already represent an increase of 100 per cent in the duty on in bulk and of 66} per cent on oil in package, over the former rates.
Olive oil is a food of prime necessity and medicine besides to a great pumhere. the population of this country, many among the poorer classes in whose diet it talo the place of butter and other fats, with the advantages of the greater economy and !? hygienic benefits, exclusively identified with nourishing, upbuilding, and heals. giving qualities.
The war has done considerable, and, if not remedied, irreparable damage to the is portation of olive oil into the United States. This importation, which previous l.. our entry into the war had been increasing annually at a rate of from one-hali ma million gallons, has since decreased to an alarming extent and is still far from reavery, as the following figures will show:
United States imports of olive oil.
1910-11. 1911-12. 1912-13. 1913-14. 1914-15. 1915-16..
1916–17. 1917-18. 1918-19. 1919-20. 19201
2,537, 51. 4, 93,1 6, 312, 4,073,51"
I Calendar year,
The reasons of this decrease are numerous and varied. Production has fallen somewhat during the war, owing to the cutting down of olive trees for wood in some parts of Italy due to the penury of fuel, to the lack of fertilizers not always obtainable, to the ravages of the olíve Ay, and to the lesser care of cultivation forced by the scarcity of labor, called under the colors. The available supply of olive oil, therefore, is lesser to-iay than it was before the war, no new planting, except perhaps to replace dead trees. having taken place in the meantime, and, even if it had, with the slow growth of olive trees, requiring decades before they come into bearing, production not becoming available before at least 15 years, unless olive groves are extended in Italy, which was not the tendency in prewar times, there is not likely to be in future, even in javorable years, an oversupply of olive oil in that country.
According to statistics recently published in the New York Journal of Commerce, the olive oil crop in the Mediterranean countries for the season 1920-21 has been estimated at 597,000 metric tons, the following countries contributing to this total: Spain, 210,000 tons, Portugal, 35,000 tons; Italy, 150,000 tons; France, 10,000 tons; Algeria, 16,000 tons; Tunis, 15,000 tons; Morocco, 12,000 tons; New Greece, 70,000 tons; other countries, 80,000 tons. The total world's production of olive oil was estimated a decade ago as ranging between 733,000 and 916,000 metric tons, the decrease in supply being thus manifest.
While the output has been lesser, the cost of production has, on the other hand, greatly increased. To begin with labor, its cost is now seven times greater than before The war, while the day's work, which used to be from sunup to sundown, has dwindled to eight hours. Then the cost of material has greatly increased, the item of tins and Cases alone, which was before the war about 10 centesimi (hundredths) of lira per Kallon, having reached now 3 lire per gallon. Maritime freight, which figured at 2 centa per gallon in prewar times, is now 10 cents per gallon. Besides this, consideration should be given to the notable increase that has taken place in the price of the oil itself at the primary markets. The result is that to-day American consumers, finding olive oil out of their reach on account of its exceptional high prices, may be compelled to resort to surrogates, such as cotton, corn, peanut, and soya-bean oils, tending to displace it, not on account of their intrinsic qualities, but by reason of their low prices. The fall in the price of surrogates, such as cottonseed oil, is due in large part to the failure to do the usual export business.
The olive oil trade should be encouraged in the interest of public health. The medical profession universally indorses its high medicinal properties. It does not compete with any home industry. California, the only State producing a little olive oil, and being, next to New York, the largest consumer of imported olive oil, is not a factor in the olive-oil trade, as it does not even produce enough for her own consumption, and has to import largely of this commodity, notwithstanding the advantages of a 50 cents per gallon protective duty, of a 22 cents per gallon transcontinental freight, and of freedom from any fiscal restrictions as to trade operating as a further protection.
The present total area of olive groves in California was estimated in 1918 by the State Department of Agriculture equal to 31,023 acres, of which only 18,801 were bearing fruit and 12,222 had not come yet into bearing. The yield in 1919 was 14,000 tons of olives. It is estimated that with the entire 31,023 acres yielding their full capacity the total would not exceed 24,000 tons, an output, however, which will require many years before it can be reached. As it takes about 1 ton of olives to yield 40 gallons of olive oil, California could not possibly hope to produce in any one year more than 960,000 gallons of olive oil. This represents only 114 per cent of the total annual consumption of olive oil in this country, which is estimated, according to the importations for calendar year 1919, at about 8,302,000 gallons. But, as a matter of fact, less than one-half of the California olive crop is pressed into olive oil, the balance being packed into tins and otherwise prepared. E. F. Woodward, a California olive grower and authority on this subject, estimated the California olive oil crop in 1908 at about 350,000 gallons, and it can not have materially increased since then.
Developments of recent years cause us to view the olive oil importation from another angle. It is coming more and more to be imported as a raw material entering into and developing industry in this country. In the past few years packers of fishespecially tuna and sardines-have used vast quantities of olive oil in their packing. This is practically a new industry developed since the war, and increased cost of olive oil would greatly retard, if not destroy, it. Besides, the packing of olive oil, imported in bulk, into bottles and tins has grown to considerable dimensions, gives employment to many people, and creates a demand for tins, bottles, shooks, and other materials, all of which benefits industry here.
A slight survey of figures gives us a vivid proof of this. Whereas, before the war in 1913, only about one-third of the olive oil was in bulk, we find that in 1919 this had risen to about seven-eighths of the total importation. So that to-day we must consider and treat olive oil more in the light of a raw material feeding an industry here thanks a finished or manufactured article entering into immediate consumption.
On account of the material of American origin that the packing abroad requires the importation of olive oil in this country should be looked upon in the light to? competition but as a stimulus to American industry and trade.
While this chamber is in favor of maintaining a difference as now existing in the rates of duty between olive oil in bulk and olive oil in packages of smaller sizf its 5 gallons, this difference should remain as it is, in order to encourage the use of one oil in its original package, and to give to the consumer the guaranty that is car with it; to discountenance the mixing of a lower with a higher grade of oil, a.. because most of the packing material, such as tinplate and shooks, used for the oli: oil imported, is after all of American origin, of which Italy is the largest buyer in t..:* country, and for which American packing has the advantage of lesser cost.
If the overseas trade of this country, built during the war, is to be continued, : must be prepared to take back some merchandise in exchange, as this country D not expect to be paid always in gold. To this end, it seems advisable to encourus the importation of an article which is one of the staple productions of the Mediter ranean countries and which does not enter into competition with any home produs and besides aids in the development of business at home. Under such a categori should olive oil be classed.
In conclusion this chamber recommends that the rates of duty on olive oil shoo. remain as they are at present in the emergency tariff, representing already an increase of from 664 to 100 per cent over the former rates, namely, that they continue 21 cents per gallon on olive oil in bulk and of 50 cents per gallon on olive oil in << tainers of less than 5 gallons. These rates, while ample for the purpose of protecer.com are also sufficient for revenue purposes.
CHERRIES IN BRINE.
(Paragraph 738.] They have been taken from the free list of the tariff act of 1913 and assessed 3 az". per pound in the emergency tariff. The Fordney tariff bill has assessed the cents per pound.
Cherries in brine have been imported in former years to the extent of 75,000 ban?': These are in the nature of a raw material for use by confectioners and bakers. Cher of the variety imported, which are smaller in size than the domestic, are not give to any appreciable extent in this country, and, therefore, do not enter into comp tion with any domestic product. There is no possibility of any large productiu this article in this country for many years, as the very nature of the tree rezul" many years before it will bear in sufficient quantity to be of commercial value. the 3 cents impost has been in effect the importation has greatly contracted and or have been the shipments of cherries in brine this year, greatly to the detriment the American confectionery industry, which depends so much upon that impur product.
This chamber therefore recommends that, if it is not possible to return them to t: free list, where they should be, they should be assessed no more than proposed by Fordney tariff bill, namely, at the rate of 14 cents per pound.
The Fordney tariff bill raises the duty from 2 to 24 cents per pound on filberir shelled and from 4 to 5 cents per pound on shelled filberts.
Filberts are not produced in this country in a commercial way, so that the que of protection to domestic industry has no bearing in the consideration of the dus this article.
As a means of revenue, we consider that the present duty, of 2 cents per pound the unshelled and 4 cents per pound on the shelled, is sufficient. Any quatt" increase in these rates, we are convinced would curtail consumption and defeat ends of revenue.
The unshelled filberts are used chiefly for domestic consumption, and, while exactly a luxury, experience has taught us that a too enhanced value easily a
nake them become a luxury. At convenient prices, on the other hand, they are earlily sold. High prices practically
destroy their demand. This has been more han once illustrated in the case of the high prices that have prevailed during the war.
The shelled filberts are consumed almost entirely as a raw material in baking and in the manufacture of candy. To increase the duty it would only add an unnecessary burden to their trade, which would eventually show decrease in demand, as the trade would be forced to use cheaper substitutes.
That the present tariff has worked well for revenue is shown by the fact that imporations, from 8,480,118 pounds of unshelled and 1,946,488 pounds of shelled nuts, under the old rates of 3 cents and 5 cents per pound in fiscal year 1913, yielding, respectively, $257,588 and $72,531, with a total in duties of $330,119, increased to
1,581,528 pounds of unshelled and 6,970,072 pounds of shelled nuts, yielding in revenue, respectively, $411,628 and $288,802, namely, a total of $700,430 in 1920 under the present rates.
From the foregoing statement, this chamber concludes that the prevailing rates are the best adapted for the needs of revenue and respectfully recommends that the present rates of 2 cents per pound for unshelled filberts and 4 cents per pound for shelled filberts be continued as they are.
TOMATO PASTE OR SAUCE.
[Paragraph 770.) The Fordney tariff bill raises the duty on tomato paste from 25 to 28 per cent.
Prior to the war, the importation of this article was about 300,000 cases annually. During its forced absence, American manufacturers have tried to supply this demand, but the greatest output scarcely exceeded 100,000 cases. This is chiefly due to the fact that the domestic product does not attain the high flavoring qualities, nourishing value, and color of the imported. For this reason many consumers have preferred to do without it, rather than use the domestic sauce, which they found unsatisfactory, and consumption was, therefore, curtailed. Prior to the war the domestic, then an insignificant factor, sold at $4 per case of 200 tins of 64 ounces each, and the imported for about $8. During the early part of the war the price of the imported soared as high as $24 per case, at which price it was preferred to the domestic, which had risen to $12. With the passing of the imported from the market, owing to embargoes, the domestic sold as high as $18 per case, consumption fell considerably, and never reached over 30,000 cases per year. While the cost of production may have increased during the war, it was not enough to justify the rise from $4 to $18 per case. It was simply taking advantage of the absence of the imported. The higher the tariff burden on the imported, the greater the chance given to the domestic to take advantage of the market, profiteering to the detriment of the consuming American public. This article is essentially a part of a poor man's diet, and, going on record in favor of a specific duty equivalent to the present ad valorem rate as applied to prewar or normal prices, this chamber recommends that the duty be assessed at l cent per pound.
This rate will approximately assess this commodity at the same duty which prevailed before the war, and, furthermore, taking into account the prewar market price for this commodity, the duty recommended by this chamber will approximately be the same as the duty which is now levied on this article under the present tariff.
[Paragraph 770.] The Fordney tariff bill provides a duty of 10 per cent on canned tomatoes. The variety of canned tomatoes imported from Italy is the egg or pear shaped description, not canned here. It could
never come in sufficient quantity to seriously affect the immense American pack of tomatoes, which is the largest in the world, and has little to fear from this imported specialty. This is true as to price as well as to the quantity
Calculating a specific duty on similar lines as above, this chamber recommends a specific rate for this product of one-half cent per pound, which is equivalent to the proposed 10 per cent.
ARTICHOKES, PEPPERS, AND OTHER PRESERVED CANNED VEGETABLES.
Duties should, therefore, be assessed so as not to put too great a premium on the
PEAS AND BEANS, PREPARED AND PRESERVED.
[Paragraphs 763 and 767.)
There is no question that, considering the advantages of modern facilities employed
This chamber, while considering the rates superfluously high, and believing that!
Value is a fluctuating quantity and is not easily arrived at. This is more so in its