ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA DENY SETTLEMENT CLAIMS
Finance Minister sets the record straight
Caribbean Media are reporting that Antigua and Barbuda Finance Minister, Harold Lovell went on air this week to deny multi-million dollar settlement claims in the long running dispute between the US and Antigua and Barbuda.
The Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation ruled that the US had failed to comply with the 2005 ruling against prohibitions on internet gambling in 2007 and went on to grant Antigua and Barbuda US$21million in annual trade sanctions against the US as compensation for damages. Despite protracted negotiations, settlement is yet to be reached between the US and Antigua and Barbuda.
Deputy Leader of the Antigua Labour Party, Gaston Browne declared on ZDK Radio this week that a settlement was imminent and that it had been agreed that the Antigua and Barbuda Government would receive a US$10 million once-off payment and would outlaw gaming in the country. He went on to opine how the supposed settlement would lead to employment cuts and have an adverse effect on telecom and internet companies and other service providers.
Lovell refutes the settlement claim and said “we have not accepted any offers that have been put on the table. Before we accept any offers that are placed on the table we would consult with the relevant parties here in Antigua and Barbuda. We’d want to see what impact any such agreement would have, not only with respect to the operators but also on the economy of Antigua and Barbuda.”