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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.

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.

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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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