By James W. Gould
There is a typical trust that until eventually lately american citizens have hottest isolation to curiosity in distant parts similar to Southeast Asia. This thesis should be established via interpreting the background of yank family members with a spot at the contrary part of the globe from the U.S.. this kind of land is Sumatra. it's one of many greatest islands on this planet. Its I66,789 sq. mile zone exceeds that of the 3rd greatest American country, California, and is greater than Italy. mendacity midway world wide from the U.S., its I050 mile size is nearly divided via the equator, which runs throughout it for 285 miles. Sumatra's strategic significance is two-fold. to begin with, it's the first island stepping stone from the Asiatic mainland into the Australasian archipelago. This used to be proven in I942 whilst the USA stationed planes on Sumatra in an try to stem the japanese enhance southward. Secondly, it lies athwart the shortest sea routes from japanese Asia to Europe and the japanese usa. Sumatra's southern tip types one part of the Straits of Sunda which guards the entry to the Java, China and Philippine Seas. on the island's northern tip is the doorway to the Straits of Malacca, the shortest sea lane be tween the close to and much East. the hole of the Suez Canal in I869 shifted the shortest path among the a ways East and the Western international from the Sunda to the Malacca Straits.
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However, the American imports from Indonesia will give a rough idea of the value of the trade. In the 1860'S our imports did not exceed $ 3,000 for 107,000 (1867/8). In the 1930's imports fluctuated between two and twenty million pounds, valued from $ 27,000 to $ 400,000. There has been a large trade since the war, running to about two million pounds a year, with a value of about $ 100,000. 1951 was a low year with $ 433,509 for 528,000 pounds, but imports reached an all-time value of $ 421,498 for 7,658,133 pounds in 1953.
But in the case of America and Sumatra neither party is compelled to trade exclusively with the other, and does not; they trade by mutual consent. The test of the INTERDEPENDENCE OF SUMATRA AND THE UNITED STATES 37 problem of force is whether Sumatrans are free to stop trade with the United States; indeed they did during World War II because of Japanese domination, and during recent disturbances, trade in many commodities was cut off. Both trading partners have suffered and are most anxious to resume free trade.
In I959 we imported directly from Indonesia 64,535 pounds of oil valued at $ 224,829, which is 85 percent of our total imports. The balance of our imports, from Malaya, France, Spain, Singapore and the Netherlands probably originates in Atjeh too. Dragon's Blood A red dye obtained from the fruit of a rattan, Daemonorops draco, is used to color varnishes, marble and wood. It grows in Sumatra in the swamps of the Pane-Bila region of the south East Coast, and has been imported from Indonesia to the United States in small quantities, the largest being 7,000 pounds (worth $ 4,840) in I935.