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US says sale of oil pumps to Soviets is no trade letup

The Reagan administration approved the sale of about $40 million worth of oil pumps to the Soviet Union, but a senior administration trade official denied the move represents a relaxation of US trade restraints with Moscow.

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In granting an export license to Hughes Tool Company to ship the submersible pumps, the administration acted on a decision made last year to allow the export of certain equipment to the Soviet Union if it was available elsewhere.

Such pumps, which are used in offshore oil drilling operations, were not considered strategically important, according to the senior official, who requested anonymity.

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