02/16/2012 : Island government says US has not complied with trade body's judgment
The eight year World Trade Organisation stand-off between the government of Antigua and Barbuda and the United States over internet gambling could be about to hit the headlines again.
On Wednesday the island government’s Finance and Economy Minister Harold Lovell announced that the government is thinking about resurrecting the dispute in the WTO on the grounds that the US government had not complied with the trade body's judgment on the issue in favour of the Antiguans.
“In the coming days, the government will be consulting with appropriate officials and legal counsel to determine the best way forward for our people and industry,” the minister said.
“We played by the rules and earned a hard-fought and fair victory. It is high time that the United States do what it routinely expects from its own trading partners – comply with WTO law and rulings.”
Barring last-minute negotiation success with United States officials, Antigua & Barbuda has a number of options at the WTO with which to push the recalcitrant American government into compliance, the Finance Minister said in a statement.
In its landmark decision, issued after years of negotiations, argument and dispute hearings, the WTO said that US laws criminalising remote gaming services offered to American consumers from Antigua were discriminatory, inequitable and in violation of America's international treaty obligations.
Three US federal laws (the Wire Act, the Travel Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act), along with legalization from various US states were specified in proceedings.
The dispute led to the US government unilaterally withdrawing from its WTO obligations concerning gambling.
Details of the dispute can be found here: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds285_e.htm