Report of the Lords of the Committee of Privy Council on the Commerce and Navigation between His Majesty’s Dominions, and the Territories Belonging to the United States of America

Between His Majesty's Dominions, and the Territories belonging to the United States of America

Report of the Lords of the Committee of Privy Council on the Commerce and Navigation between His Majesty’s Dominions, and the Territories Belonging to the United States of America

The Committee was commissioned to report on the state of trade between Britain and America after the United States Congress had passed legislation imposing duties and restrictions on imports in 1789. Merchants and ship owners in the major British ports and British consuls in America were sent questionnaires on the effects of such levies. The committee made its report in 1791, and began by summarising the situation since Britain had acknowledged American independence in 1783, and how independence had affected trade, including that involving slaves, between the two countries. The decline in British exports to the United States had been offset by exports to Canada and the West Indies. Overall, the balance of trade was in Britain's favour, but the continuing prosperity of the British West Indian colonies was seen as depending almost entirely on their slave-based economy, and abolition was therefore not believed to be an option.

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