As to its effect on foreign trade, it may confidently be stated that any step tending towards uniformity of the standard of value would help to increase the foreign trade - irrespective of the variation in the ratio between gold and silver. To-day, as during the past fifty years, the great hindrance to a settled progress in foreign commerce has been the frequent variability of prices brought about by the variations in exchange. There is no doubt that prices and the volume of trade adjust themselves from time to time. For instance, if exchange goes up or the gold value of silver increases there is a direct impetus to the import trade, as the Chinese buyer pays less in silver for the goods than he would under other conditions. Similarly, when gold goes down or the gold value of silver decreases there is impetus to the export trade, as the Chinese seller receives more silver for the same quantity of goods than he would otherwise. But values do not go down continually, or go up continually. After all, the fundamental principle of trade is the exchange of goods for goods, as no country could do the smallest tithe of its business if it had to pay money for even a very small portion of its transactions. Therefore, what happens in China is that once there is a fairly large import trade for a while on account of high exchange, there is a swing of the pendulum in order to enable Chinese to receive some money from the sale of their produce; after a brisk export trade, the pendulum swings again in the opposite direction and the Chinese begin to buy imports. Thus exchange between gold and silver periodically adjusts itself in the commerce of China - apart, of course, from other causes which have no small influence in the determination of the ratio of value between gold and silver. The successful acceptance of one standard for this country is more likely to bring about a steadying influence on the ratio than otherwise.