Comprehension Questions 05

Passage 1:

Many United States companies have, unfortunately, made the search for legal protection from import competition into a major line of work. Since 1980 the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has received about 280 complaints alleging damage from imports that benefit from subsidies by foreign governments. Another 340 charge that foreign companies “dumped” their products in the United States at “less than fair value.” Even when no unfair practices are alleged, the simple claim that an industry has been injured by imports is sufficient grounds to seek relief.

Contrary to the general impression, this quest for import relief has hurt more companies than it has helped. As corporations begin to function globally, they develop an intricate web of marketing, production, and research relationships, The complexity of these relationships makes it unlikely that a system of import relief laws will meet the strategic needs of all the units under the same parent company.

Internationalization increases the danger that foreign companies will use import relief laws against the very companies the laws were designed to protect. Suppose a United States-owned company establishes an overseas plant to manufacture a product while its competitor makes the same product in the United States. If the competitor can prove injury from the imports—and that the United States company received a subsidy from a foreign government to build its plant abroad—the United States company’s products will be uncompetitive in the United States, since they would be subject to duties.

Perhaps the most brazen case occurred when the ITC investigated allegations that Canadian companies were injuring the United States salt industry by dumping rock salt, used to de-ice roads. The bizarre aspect of the complaint was that a foreign conglomerate with United States operations was crying for help against a United States company with foreign operations. The “United States” company claiming injury was a subsidiary of a Dutch conglomerate, while the “Canadian” companies included a subsidiary of a Chicago firm that was the second-largest domestic producer of rock salt.


Based on the Passage, answer the following questions:

1. The passage is chiefly concerned with

(A) arguing against the increased internationalization of United States corporations

(B) warning that the application of laws affecting trade frequently has unintended consequences

(C) demonstrating that foreign-based firms receive more subsidies from their governments than United States firms receive from the United States government

(D) advocating the use of trade restrictions for “dumped” products but not for other imports

(E) recommending a uniform method for handling claims of unfair trade practices


2. It can be inferred from the passage that the minimal basis for a complaint to the International Trade Commission is which of the following?

(A) A foreign competitor has received a subsidy from a foreign government.

(B) A foreign competitor has substantially increased the volume of products shipped to the United States.

(C) A foreign competitor is selling products in the United States at less than fair market value.

(D) The company requesting import relief has been injured by the sale of imports in the United States. (E) The company requesting import relief has been barred from exporting products to the country of its foreign competitor.


3. The last paragraph performs which of the following functions in the passage?

(A) It summarizes the discussion thus far and suggests additional areas of research.

(B) It presents a recommendation based on the evidence presented earlier.

(C) It discusses an exceptional case in which the results expected by the author of the passage were not obtained.

(D) It introduces an additional area of concern not mentioned earlier.

(E) It cites a specific case that illustrates a problem presented more generally in the previous paragraph.


4. The passage warns of which of the following dangers?

(A) Companies in the United States may receive no protection from imports unless they actively seek protection from import competition.

(B) Companies that seek legal protection from import competition may incur legal costs that far exceed any possible gain.

(C) Companies that are United States-owned but operate internationally may not be eligible for protection from import competition under the laws of the countries in which their plants operate.

(D) Companies that are not United States-owned may seek legal protection from import competition under United States import relief laws.

(E) Companies in the United States that import raw materials may have to pay duties on those materials.


5. The passage suggests that which of the following is most likely to be true of United States trade laws?

(A) They will eliminate the practice of “dumping” products in the United States.

(B) They will enable manufacturers in the United States to compete more profitably outside the United States.

(C) They will affect United States trade with Canada more negatively than trade with other nations.

(D) Those that help one unit within a parent company will not necessarily help other units in the company.

(E) Those that are applied to international companies will accomplish their intended result.


6. It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes which of the following about the complaint mentioned in the last paragraph?

(A) The ITC acted unfairly toward the complainant in its investigation.

(B) The complaint violated the intent of import relief laws.

(C) The response of the ITC to the complaint provided suitable relief from unfair trade practices to the complainant.

(D) The ITC did not have access to appropriate information concerning the case.

(E) Each of the companies involved in the complaint acted in its own best interest.



Passage 2:

At the end of the nineteenth century, a rising interest in Native American customs and an increasing desire to understand Native American culture prompted ethnologists to begin recording the life stories of Native American. Ethnologists had a distinct reason for wanting to hear the stories: they were after linguistic or anthropological data that would supplement their own field observations, and they believed that the personal stories, even of a single individual, could increase their understanding of the cultures that they had been observing from without. In addition many ethnologists at the turn of the century believed that Native American manners and customs were rapidly disappearing, and that it was important to preserve for posterity as much information as could be adequately recorded before the cultures disappeared forever.

There were, however, arguments against this method as a way of acquiring accurate and complete information. Franz Boas, for example, described autobiographies as being “of limited value, and useful chiefly for the study of the perversion of truth by memory,” while Paul Radin contended that investigators rarely spent enough time with the tribes they were observing, and inevitably derived results too tinged by the investigator’s own emotional tone to be reliable. Even more importantly, as these life stories moved from the traditional oral mode to recorded written form, much was inevitably lost. Editors often decided what elements were significant to the field research on a given tribe. Native Americans recognized that the essence of their lives could not be communicated in English and that events that they thought significant were often deemed unimportant by their interviewers. Indeed, the very act of telling their stories could force Native American narrators to distort their cultures, as taboos had to be broken to speak the names of dead relatives crucial to their family stories. Despite all of this, autobiography remains a useful tool for ethnological research: such personal reminiscences and impressions, incomplete as they may be, are likely to throw more light on the working of the mind and emotions than any amount of speculation from an ethnologist or ethnological theorist from another culture.


Based on the Passage, answer the following questions:

7. Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

(A) The historical backgrounds of two currently used research methods are chronicled.

(B) The validity of the data collected by using two different research methods is compared.

(C) The usefulness of a research method is questioned and then a new method is proposed.

(D) The use of a research method is described and the limitations of the results obtained are discussed.

(E) A research method is evaluated and the changes necessary for its adaptation to other subject areas are discussed.


8. Which of the following is most similar to the actions of nineteenth-century ethnologists in their editing of the life stories of Native Americans?

(A) A witness in a jury trial invokes the Fifth Amendment in order to avoid relating personally incriminating evidence.

(B) A stockbroker refuses to divulge the source of her information on the possible future increase in a stock’s value.

(C) A sports announcer describes the action in a team sport with which he is unfamiliar.

(D) A chef purposely excludes the special ingredient from the recipe of his prizewinning dessert.

(E) A politician fails to mention in a campaign speech the similarities in the positions held by her opponent for political office and by herself.


9. According to the passage, collecting life stories can be a useful methodology because

(A) life stories provide deeper insights into a culture than the hypothesizing of academics who are not members of that culture

(B) life stories can be collected easily and they are not subject to invalid interpretations

(C) ethnologists have a limited number of research methods from which to choose

(D) life stories make it easy to distinguish between the important and unimportant features of a culture

(E) the collection of life stories does not require a culturally knowledgeable investigator


10. Information in the passage suggests that which of the following may be a possible way to eliminate bias in the editing of life stories?

(A) Basing all inferences made about the culture on an ethnological theory

(B) Eliminating all of the emotion-laden information reported by the informant

(C) Translating the informant’s words into the researcher’s language

(D) Reducing the number of questions and carefully specifying the content of the questions that the investigator can ask the informant

(E) Reporting all of the information that the informant provides regardless of the investigator’s personal opinion about its intrinsic value


11. The primary purpose of the passage as a whole is to

(A) question an explanation

(B) correct a misconception

(C) critique a methodology

(D) discredit an idea

(E) clarify an ambiguity


12. It can be inferred from the passage that a characteristic of the ethnological research on Native Americans conducted during the nineteenth century was the use of which of the following?

(A) Investigators familiar with the culture under study

(B) A language other than the informant’s for recording life stories

(C) Life stories as the ethnologist’s primary source of information

(D) Complete transcriptions of informants’ descriptions of tribal beliefs

(E) Stringent guidelines for the preservation of cultural data


Passage 3 :

Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, The muttering retreats Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question. . . Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes

The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, And seeing that it was a soft October night Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; There will be time to murder and create, And time for all the works and days of hands That lift and drop a question on your plate; Time for you and time for me, And time yet for a hundred indecisions And for a hundred visions and revisions Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo.And indeed there will be time

To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”

Time to turn back and descend the stair, With a bald spot in the middle of my hair— [They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”] My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin— [They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”] Do I dare Disturb the universe? In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all; Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; I know the voices dying with a dying fall Beneath the music from a farther room. So how should I presume?


Based on the Passage, answer the following questions:

13) Which of the following meanings can be inferred from the lines “o I dare Disturb the universe?”

(a) The author is referring to his bright future.

(b) The author fears that he will cause some major upheaval in world.

(c) The author refers to the ‘status quo’ in which he is in.

(d) The author expresses his feeling of being pinned against a wall.

(e) The author is apprehensive about his last days.


14) What, according to the passage, is the reason for the author’s optimism?

(a) That the women are talking of Michelangelo.

(b) That the yellow fog rubs upon the window-panes.

(c) That it was an October night.

(d) That there will be moments for everything.

(e) That the falling soot made a sudden leap.


15) In the first ten lines of the passage the author embodies which of the following with human attributes?

(a) toast

(b) restaurants

(c) intent

(d) retreats

(e) arguments


16) In the passage, evening is compared to:

(a) The spreading sky

(b) The anesthetized patient

(c) Wicked people

(d) The deserted streets

(e) A walk in the streets