The extraordinary excess of U.S. exports over imports, said President Truman in his midyear economic report to Congress, is one of the temporary props under the U.S. economic system. Last week, the Department of Commerce released figures showing that the prop had begun to buckle. Since the war's end, exports had been steadily increasing until they reached a rate of $17 billion a year. But in June they suddenly sagged 13%, the first big postwar decrease.

Was this the beginning of the end of the export boom? Some exporters thought it might be. They had watched import restrictions and licensing systems...

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