Friday March 29, 2013 : NO, THIS REALLY IS OUR FINAL WARNING…
Antigua warns US yet again on need for WTO dispute resolution
The seemingly endless dispute in the World Trade Organisation over online gambling bans between the governments of Antigua and the United States remains unresolved after over a decade of dispute panel rulings (ignored by the USA), a multitude of meetings between the two nations, ‘final' demands, threats and counter-threats.
This week the issue again surfaced with yet another warning from the Antiguans at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body's March gathering, delivered through the delegate for fellow Caribbean nation Dominica.
The Dominican representative told the Dispute Settlement Body: "Antigua and Barbuda have not seen any substantial progress on the part of the U.S. to comply with the DSB's recommendations and rulings nor to reach a settlement with Antigua and Barbuda."
Despite this, the representative said, Antigua and Barbuda wish to appeal to the United States to "…make one last effort at resolving the matter and avoiding unpredictable consequences," given that the measures would be unprecedented.
Those measures include allowing Antigua to impose the compensatory measures granted by the WTO on January 28, 2013, involving the sale of US-copyrighted items up to a limit of $21 million a year without the payment of rights usage, if an alternative resolution with the United States fails to be achieved.
The WTO has repeatedly accepted Antigua and Barbuda's argument that United States' legalization prohibiting the provision of overseas online gambling services contravened the nation's commitments under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).