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I read the following in a TOEIC book:

Ben Hayes: Hi, all. Just checking up on everyone. Want to make sure we’re on track for July’s launch date.

Manuela Ruiz: Hi, Ben. I’ve just spoken with the marketing team and they recommend we focus on our new product’s cost savings. It’s 10 cents cheaper than similar products made by our nearest competitor—Compart Plastics.

Ben Hayes: Sounds good, Manuela. I’d add that Caplock lasts longer than our previous product. And we can offer bigger discounts for orders of 10,000 units or more.

Manuela Ruiz: Points taken, Ben. I’ll pass on your comments and send you a draft or our advertising copy. Oh, and I’ve also signed up Parkerco for a couple of big trade fairs in China.

Adam Wong: We’re approved for export licenses to Asia and Australia, but our application with the European Union is still being reviewed by the lawyers in Brussels. They want to make sure we pass the environmental standards.

Ben Hayes: Thanks, Manuela! Adam, I’ve invited Nicole to join us. She’s the company lawyer.

Nicole Keaton: Adam, Ben explained your problem to me and I don’t think we need to worry. I’ll get in touch with my counterpart in Brussels and sort things out.

Adam Wong: That’s wonderful news. Honestly, I’m not sure why there’s an issue now considering it isn’t the first time we’ve sold products in Europe.

Nicole Keaton: There’ve been some regulatory changes recently. I’ll take care of it.

Ben Hayes: That should do it, then. Thanks again, everyone. Appreciate the effort.” ((Test 6, Hacker’s TOEIC Real Test 1000 RC))

Question 154. What can be inferred about the company's application with the European Union?

(A) It has yet to be submitted.
(B) It is expected to receive approval.
(C) It will need to be revised.
(D) It does not meet Europe's standards.

I think A is the best answer, but this TOEIC book says B is the best choice considering what Ms. Keaton says – “I don’t think we need to worry. I’ll get in touch with my counterpart in Brussels and sort things out”.

What do you think? Do you agree with the book?

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  • I could make a case for A or B or C. I find when taking these sort of tests I almost end up playing a meta-game: trying to infer the intention of the question setter. With that mind-set I would have answered B. My thinking being that the logical arguments leading to A or C are more indirect. However the more I look at this, A seems better. Nicole (the company lawyer) is going to get in touch with her counterpart in Brussels - so that would be the lawyer in Brussels, who therefore in not the EU. Hence the application is still being prepared by an intermediary.
    – djna
    Aug 16, 2016 at 10:19

3 Answers 3

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It's easy to understand the confusion experienced by the OP. The clue is in:

Adam Wong: We’re approved for export licenses to Asia and Australia, but our application with the European Union is still being reviewed by the lawyers in Brussels. They want to make sure we pass the environmental standards.

The use of with strongly suggests that it is already there (to or for could be more ambiguous). ...the lawyers in Brussels supports this. The headquarters of the EU is in Brussels and the two have become synonymous. You'll hear phrases like:

  • The bureaucrats in Brussels

  • Legislation from Brussels

  • Elected to Brussels

So, that makes option B the most likely option.

However...

That doesn't mean though that the OP's choice of A automatically wrong. As a result of the EU headquarters being based in Brussels there is also a supporting industry of consultants, lobbyists and lawyers in the city. It's not unusual for a company to use these specialists to check documents prior to submission to the EU - It's less likely than option B but quite possible.

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  • Exactly. This is ambiguous. In fact They want to make sure we pass the environmental standards. sounds far more like the status of a specialist firm who assist with submitting a correct application.
    – djna
    Aug 16, 2016 at 10:11
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Yes,I Agree with this book.as ans B is more appropriate.

as we can see in this sentence "Ben Hayes: Thanks, Manuela! Adam, I’ve invited Nicole to join us. She’s the company lawyer." Ben is invited lawyer to conversation.it means.he had already submitted application and now he is facing some issues with European Union.so he need to concern a lawyer.

so according to situation ans B is best among all.

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I also agree with the book and everyone else that answered your question for the answer being B.

Adam Wong: We’re approved for export licenses to Asia and Australia, but our application with the European Union is still being reviewed by the lawyers in Brussels.

➔ This part tells you that the application has been submitted because otherwise the application cannot be reviewed. So, this eliminates A. And because the European Union is still reviewing the application, they aren't sure if the application will have to be revised yet. This eliminates C.

They want to make sure we pass the environmental standards.

➔ This line tells you that the European Union just wants to make sure that they pass the standards, and it doesn't say European standards, but it says environmetal standards. So, this eliminates D.

Ben Hayes: Thanks, Manuela! Adam, I’ve invited Nicole to join us. She’s the company lawyer. Nicole Keaton: Adam, Ben explained your problem to me and I don’t think we need to worry. I’ll get in touch with my counterpart in Brussels and sort things out.

➔ This part tells you that Ben invited Nicole, a company lawyer, and she says that she heard the problem from Ben and that she thinks they don't need to worry about the application because she will get in touch with her counterpart (a person or thing that does the same job or has the same function as a person or thing in a different organization, etc) in Brussels and sort things out, meaning the application can be expected to receive approval. So the answer is B!

Adam Wong: That’s wonderful news. Honestly, I’m not sure why there’s an issue now considering it isn’t the first time we’ve sold products in Europe.

➔ I think this line also implies that Adam is expecting the application to receive approval.

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