Trade official: Country X deserves economic retribution for its protectionism. However, it is crucial that we rec...

Sangwook on November 16, 2014

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Please explain why the answer goes to (E), not to (a) or (c). Anyhow, this is an assumption question,right? But it seems to me, it's like a Principle question, too. Then could this type of question be like "Principle-Assumption" question??? Many thanks,

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Melody on November 18, 2014

Here we have a strengthen with necessary premise question. Remember that a premise is necessary for a conclusion if the falsity of the premise guarantees or brings about the falsity of the conclusion. First we check to see if the answer choice strengthens the passage, and then, if it does strengthen, we negate the answer choice to see if its negation makes the argument fall apart. If the answer choice does both those things then it is our correct answer.

Conclusion: We should still sell to X the agricultural equipment it ordered.

Why? Even though country X deserves economic retribution for its protectionism, its important that they recognize that there are overriding considerations in this case; there is high demand in the trade official's country for agricultural imports from X.

So, the trade official's stance is despite the fact that Country X deserves economic punishment for its protectionism, the trade official's country should still sell to X the agricultural equipment it ordered since there is high demand in the trade official's country for agricultural imports from X, meaning not selling the equipment to country X would result in a detriment to the trade official's country.

Answer choice (E) states: "We should balance the justice of an action with the consequences for our interests of undertaking that action."

Does this strengthen? Yes.

When we balance the justice of not selling agricultural equipment to country X with the consequences of the action--Country X may not be able to or willing to continue to import its agriculture, which is in high demand, to the trade official's country--it seems that the consequences override the justice achieved by the action itself. So, if we take answer choice (E) as true, then the argument is strengthened.

Does the negation of the answer choice make the argument fall apart? Yes.

Negation: We should not necessarily balance the justice of an action with the consequences for our interests of undertaking that action.

If we should not balance the justice of an action with the consequences, then the argument falls apart because we know that Country X deserves economic retribution for it protectionism, therefore, it no longer necessarily follows that we should still sell to X the agricultural equipment that it ordered.

Thus, answer choice (E) is correct.

Answer choice (A) states: "Agricultural components of international trade are more important than nonagricultural commodities."

This answer choice does not strengthen the argument.

We have not been given any information on non-agricultural trade. So whether or not agricultural components of international trade are more important than non-agricultural components has no bearing on whether the trade official's country should still sell to X the agricultural equipment it ordered, since we know nothing about any non-agricultural components.

Answer choice (C) states: "We should never jeopardize the interests of our people to punish a protectionist country."

This answer choice strengthens the argument because we know that there is high demand in the trade official's country for agricultural imports from X; so this is clearly in the interest of the people of the trade official's country. Thus, they should still sell to X the agricultural equipment it ordered.

Does the negation of this answer choice make the argument fall apart? No.

Negation: We should sometimes jeopardize the interests of our people to punish a protectionist country.

This leaves open the option that sometimes we should jeopardize the interests of our people to punish a protectionist country and sometimes we should not. Thus, this does not make our argument completely fall apart, since the negation only states that sometimes the argument does not follow.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.