Business & Finance: Obstacle Removed

Harry Truman, who had defied one lobby by refusing to raise the tariff on Swiss watches (TIME, Aug. 25), last week defied another. Despite the protests of 13,000 independent U.S. oil producers, he approved a slash of as much as 50% in import duties on Venezuelan oil (e.g., from 10½¢ to 5¼¢ on "low gravity" oil), and abolished all import quotas.

The President had some solid facts to support his decision. For one thing, Venezuela is one of the U.S.'s biggest customers. In 1950, when it sold only $288 million worth of its oil to the U.S., it bought $388 million worth...

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