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I am studying English, and I came across this example.

"It would hardly be fair for the meatpacking industry to blame regulators for the harm that it has inflicted upon itself in the sub-prime meat sector."

I have a "Placeholder" it, which refers to "to blame...meat sector", at the beginning of the main clause; then I have another "it" in the subordinate clause ("it has inflicted upon itself in the sub-prime meat sector ").

My question is: How do I know that the second "it" refers to the industry as well as the reflexive "itself"?

It's just a matter of semantic?

Finally, is it correct saying that in a single sentence the personal pronouns should all refer to the same noun?

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    There's no syntactic reason why you shouldn't include multiple instances of it referring to different things in the same utterance. Here's one with three different it's - I considered lending him my umbrella, but it's pointless giving it to him when it's not even raining. Feb 8 '21 at 14:10
  • Here's a previous answer to a similar question: english.stackexchange.com/questions/124173/… Feb 8 '21 at 23:40
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"It would hardly be fair for the meatpacking industry to blame regulators for the harm that it has inflicted upon itself in the sub-prime meat sector."

How do I know that the second "it" refers to the industry as well as the reflexive "itself"?

There is nothing else for it to refer to. "It" (singular) cannot refer to regulators (plural).

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