Thursday January 24,2013 : ANTIGUA VS U.S.A. TALKS ON ONLINE GAMBLING ISSUE RESUME
Decade-long dispute seems insoluble
Following threats that the government of Antigua and Barbuda would continue to pursue its ten-year-old World Trade Organisation case – rooted in internet gambling – against the United States, the two sides sat down to open another round of talks this week.
The Antigua Observer reports that officials from the US Embassy in Barbados sat across the table from the Antigua government team led by Colin Murdock in the day-long exchanges.
Following the talks, Murdock said: “The government of Antigua and Barbuda is doing everything in our power to get a reasonable settlement from the United States," but gave little details of the day's work other than reiterating:
“We have negotiated with the US in good faith as we have done for the last decade. We have prevailed in our case at the WTO on numerous occasions, and we are prepared to pursue the remedies provided under international trade law.”
Staff members from the United States Congress and other government officials were also at the meeting.
A recent warning from Washington cautioned the Antiguans not to pursue retaliatory action against America.
A World Trade Organisation ruling entitles the Antigua government to US $21 million in damages annually over America’s decision to crack down on the online gaming sector. The US has thus far failed to honour the ruling.