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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第5章 法律类 Unit 66

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2019年01月17日

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After five years of litigation,the World Trade Organisation (WTO)is about to deliver its preliminary ruling on America's complaint against the provision of prohibited subsidies to Europe's commercial aircraft industry.The United States alleges that this support was worth $200 billion over 20 years.In a few months the WTO will rule on a counter-claim by the European Union that Boeing received about $24 billion in subsidies over the past two decades as well as large,non-repayable benefits from military and space contracts. Both rulings are subject to appeal.This first ruling is a potential thunderbolt that could ignite a damaging trade dispute between America and Europe at a time when both economies need to present a united front on trade,to prevent a slide towards protectionism. 
The origins of the dispute lie in America's decision,at Boeing's prompting,to withdraw in 2004 from a 12-year-old bilateral agreement with Europe governing trade in large civil aircraft.The agreement banned direct production and sales subsidies,but let governments continue to funnel money into new aircraft projects.It permitted both repayable direct state aid(the European approach)covering up to a third of all development costs,known as launch aid,and indirect state aid(the American approach)if limited to 3% of the domestic industry's sales volume.Boeing,however,says it expected the deal to lead to a gradual reduction in subsidies to Airbus.When this failed to materialise,it withdrew.What caused its patience to run out? Two things: the success of Airbus in achieving rough market-share parity at the end of the 1990s,and resentment over launch aid for the A380,the superjumbo designed to bring to an end the long reign of the 747. 
Boeing is right to argue that all subsidies distort competition.But although the subsidies that Airbus receives are different from Boeing’s,they are not necessarily much worse.At least they are transparent—and Europe claims that by 2007 Airbus had repaid 40% more than it had been given.Nor has the effect of the subsidies received by both firms been anti-competitive.Boeing and Airbus fight like rats in a sack for every sale,with the consequence that airlines have been able to buy cheaper and better aircraft than if one firm had been dominant. 
Two other points should be borne in mind.The first is that it is out of date to see either firm as a national champion.The size and riskiness of large commercial-aircraft projects has forced even Boeing to create extended international supply chains.Second,the aircraft-makers’ subsidies pale by comparison with those doled out by governments on both sides of the Atlantic in the past year.Leaving aside the trillions of dollars spent on preventing financial collapse,industrial subsidies of a kind almost certainly illegal under WTO rules have mushroomed. 
Both sides should therefore hold their fire until the WTO rules on Europe's complaint.Then,putting further litigation to one side,they should head for the negotiating table.The aim should be to secure a new deal along the lines of the old agreement,but this time with an explicit goal of phasing out the most egregious subsidies within a reasonable period.The alternative of an escalating tit-for-tat trade dispute between Europe and America does not bear thinking about. 
注(1):本文选自Economist; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象:第1、2、3、5、4题分别模仿1995年真题Text 3第1、2、3、5题和Text 4 第1题。 
1.The word“thunderbolt”(Line 6,Paragraph 1)most probably means ______. 
A) thunderstorm 
B) cause 
C) disaster 
D) danger 
2.The main problem concerning the dispute between American and European air industries is ______. 
A) the breach of their bilateral agreement 
B) the different approaches of governmental subsidies 
C) whether the governmental assistance they receive is legal 
D) whether governmental subsidies would affect market competition 
3.From the passage we can infer that ______. 
A) it was because of Boeing that America decided to withdraw the bilateral agreement 
B) by withdrawing the bilateral agreement,Boeing expected to realize a gradual reduction in subsidies to Airbus 
C) the form of subsidy that Boeing receives is superior than that Airbus receives 
D) subsidies received by Boeing and Airbus have significantly affected a fair market order 
4.According to the author,Boeing's argument is not quite correct because of the following reasons EXCEPT ______. 
A) in this case subsidies do not completely distort the market competition 
B) Boeing itself is no longer a national but a multinational company 
C) the subsidy dispute will lead to a war between America and Europe 
D) governmental subsidies are becoming increasingly common 
5.We can learn from the last paragraph that ______. 
A) the best way to solve the problem is to wait for WTO's ruling 
B) both litigation and negotiation should go ahead shoulder by shoulder 
C) both parties should start negotiating to reach a new deal in place of the old one 
D) both parties cannot afford a long-term vicious cycle of sue and counter-sue 

经过五年的诉讼,世界贸易组织即将就美国投诉欧洲商业飞机制造业接受非法补助一案做出最初裁决。美国声称,在20多年间,欧洲商业飞机制造业接受的补助总额达到两千亿美元。同时世贸组织还将在几个月之内就欧盟针对波音公司的反诉做出裁决,欧盟指控波音公司在过去20年里不仅接受了240亿美元的补助,而且还从与军事和航天业的合作中获得了巨大且不需偿还的利润。这两项裁决都可以上诉。第一个裁决的结果很可能是一个晴天霹雳,由此引发美国和欧盟之间一场破坏性巨大的贸易争端大战,但在目前这个时候,这两个经济体最需要做的是结成贸易统一战线,以防止向贸易保护主义倾斜。 
这场争端的起因在于,在波音公司的驱使下,美国政府于2004年决定撤销当时与欧盟已签订12年的大型民航客机贸易管制双边协议。该协议禁止直接对生产和销售给予补助,但允许政府为新的飞行器项目不断注入资金。它既允许可应偿还的政府直接援助(欧洲模式)高达开发成本的三分之一,即所谓的研发资助;也允许间接政府援助(美国模式),只要援助金额不高于国内工业产品销售额的3%。然而波音公司希望这一双边协议会使空客公司得到的补助逐渐减少。波音没有如愿,因此退出了双边协议。到底是什么使波音失去了耐性?有两方面的原因:一是上世纪90年代末空客取得了与波音旗鼓相当的市场份额,二是旨在结束波音747统治地位的空客A380客机得到了研发资助,波音对此非常不满。 
波音关于所有补助都扭曲了竞争的观点是正确的。但是尽管空客公司接受补助的方式不同于波音,但也不见得比后者更糟糕。至少空客得到的补助都是透明的——欧洲声称截至2007年,空客公司偿还的资金比它接受的援助还多40%。两家公司接受补助的结果也没有影响市场的自由竞争。波音和空客公司像在粮袋里争食的老鼠一样为每一笔销售大打出手,而各个航空公司则因此能够买到比它们某一家独占鳌头时更物美价廉的飞机。 
还有两点也应该谨记在心。首先把这两家公司的任何一家再看成是民族支柱企业的想法早已过时了。大型商业飞机项目的庞大规模和巨大风险使得波音公司被迫拓展跨国供应链;其次,在过去一年中,大西洋两岸的这两家飞机制造商得到的补助金与其他少量的救济金相比更加少得可怜。姑且不谈为避免金融崩溃而花费的上万亿美元,就是明显违反世贸组织相关法规的工业补助金现象也如雨后春笋般增长。 
因此,双方在世贸组织对欧盟的诉讼做出裁决之前都应该按兵不动。然后他们应该暂停随后的诉讼而走向谈判桌。谈判的目标应该是在旧协议的基础上达成一项新协议,但这次的目标显然是要在一个合理的期限内逐步取消那些数额惊人的补助金。任何扩大欧洲和美国间贸易争端的做法都不在考虑范围内。 
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