Saturday June 1, 2013 : ANTIGUA TRIES TALKING TO U.S. VICE PRESIDENT ON W.T.O. DISPUTE (Update)
A decade on and after round after round of ‘talks' the online gambling issue remains unresolved
Antigua's decade-long World Trade Organisation dispute with the United States over discriminatory online gambling bans has repeatedly headlined online and off-line media reportage, usually recounting yet another round of failed talks between the two nations despite the WTO ruling repeatedly in favour of the Antiguans .
This week the Antiguan Prime Minister, Spencer Baldwin, tried a new tack – seeking to engage the US vice president, Joe Biden, on the issue, reports the publication Caribarena.
Spencer said he came away from Tuesday’s meeting in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad between leaders of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and the US Vice President encouraged about the prospects in the cross-border gaming dispute.
Biden and his senior advisor, Jacob Sullivan, met with PM Spencer, Ambassador Colin Murdoch and Dame Deborah-Mae Lovell, ambassador in Washington, DC, in a side meeting on Tuesday, where Spencer urged Biden to use his influence in the Obama Administration to speedily bring the matter to a fair settlement.
Biden’s response was to meet privately with PM Spencer and his delegation, after which Spencer told reporters:
“I came away from the meeting feeling more encouraged than I have before. I think we were able to use the opportunity of this meeting to bring our case more sharply into focus with the US administration and to gain momentum for a final settlement.”
The prime minister added that he expects negotiations underway with the US Trade representative will accelerate, and that new and innovative proposals would be tabled in the search for a solution.
It all still sounds rather inconclusive….