The ongoing attempts to reach an amicable solution to the online gambling dispute between the USA and Antigua and Barbuda without resorting to further World Trade Organisation action continued this week, with the arrival on the Caribbean island of a six person U.S. delegation headed by Deputy United States Trade Representative, Ambassador John Veroneau.
The latest of several deadlines in the long-running dispute expired last Friday, but the WTO has not been called in for arbitration yet, according to local media reports.
Ambassador Veroneau and his team will meet with Antigua's Finance and Economy Minister Dr. Errol Cort and other government officials. Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dr. John Ashe is also expected to attend the talks. Cort has previously said (see previous InfoPowa reports) that he is hopeful for a positive resolution after several top level meetings with American representatives.
He reiterated that this week, saying that this latest round of talks is a strong indication that Washington wants to finalise the matter.
Government spokesmen pointed out that Veroneau's team was the most senior U.S. trade delegation to visit Antigua and Barbuda to hold talks with the government on the internet gaming issue.
The USTR delegation is scheduled to leave Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday afternoon.
Last December, a World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel of arbitrators ruled in favour of Antigua and Barbuda's bid to impose sanctions on Washington after it barred financial institutions from processing online payments to betting companies outside American borders.