20. Seven countries signed a treaty binding each of them to perform specified actions on a certain fixed date, with the actions of each conditional on simultaneous action taken by the other countries. Each country was also to notify the six other countries when it had completed its action.
The simultaneous-action provision of the treaty leaves open the possibility that
(A) the compliance date was subject to postponement, according to the terms of the treaty
(B) one of the countries might not be required to make any changes or take any steps in order to comply with the treaty, whereas all the other countries are so required.
(C) each country might have a well-founded excuse, based on the provision, for its own lack of compliance
(D) the treaty specified that the signal for one of the countries to initiate action was notification by the other countries that they had completed action
(E) there was ambiguity with respect to the date after which all actions contemplated in the treaty are to be complete.
( C) is defintely right. An excuse is non-compliance.
" with the actions of each conditional on simultaneous action taken by the other countries "
The way it reads is that one country depends on actions taken by other countries, but it doesn't mean it depends on all the other countries. So , I guess One can start if Two does something.
That's why D is wrong, right? I may not be right.
C is correct. but not for the reasons you state.
If you read C carefully, you can paraphrase as follow:
"The provision is structured in a way that compliance by every country might be impossible, hence justifying the lack of compliance by each country."
Sure enough, since all 7 countries must simultaneously act based on the simultaneous actions of everyon else, how can any country know in advance what every other country is going to do so that it, it turn, can properly comply? Hence, since the mechanics of the provision make it impossible to follow, any non-compliance is "excusable".
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993