James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Rufus King, 5 May 1802 (Abstract)

§ From Rufus King

5 May 1802, London. No. 65. Reports that bill imposing duties on imports, exports, and ship tonnage passed House of Commons and will undoubtedly become law.1 Bill revives most provisions of the Convoy Act2 but raises duties on imports by one-fifth and reduces duties on goods exported to America by one-half. Because of increased quantity and superior quality of American cotton, it was proposed to place a higher duty on it than on Turkish cotton, but after conferring with King the officials reduced the duty to the lowest rate, equal to that imposed on Turkish cotton. Since the proposed tonnage duty on U.S. vessels is as low as on those of any other country, “so far as respects discrimination there is nothing to complain of.” Encloses copy of a letter to Vansittart on “the abolition of all discrimination between the Purchasers of British Manufactures.”

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