Tuesday, December 29, 2015 : ANTIGUA MAY ACCEPT LATEST U.S. OFFER IN WORLD TRADE DISPUTE (Update)
Finance Minister confident that Cabinet will accept US offer and end more than 12 years of argument.
The industry has heard this one many times before in the World Trade Organisation dispute between Antigua and Barbuda and the United States over the latter’s online gambling ban:
"We're on the threshold of an agreement."
Unfortunately it has invariably led to disappointment as a settlement continued to elude the two parties in the more than 12-year-old dispute, which has seen Antigua consistently win a series of WTO dispute panel decisions regarding US bans and their impact on the island nation
This time things may be different, according to Antigua Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Fernandez when he spoke at a press conference earlier this week.
The Antigua Observer reports that the minister is confident that a solution will be finalised in the first month of 2016, although he was not in a position to give details of the basis on which such a resolution could be achieved.
The Cabinet has clearly seen the details, because the minister implied that the US offer has been reviewed by the front bench, and ministers appear to favour its acceptance.
The WTO dispute panels have already ruled that Antigua and Barbuda is entitled to $21 million annually in compensation for the US banning action, although that sum in the form of suspension of US intellectual property rights has never been collected.