Angtigua Still Looking to WTO to Solve US Gambling Dispute
The government of Antigua thought it had scored a big win back in 20003 when the World Trade Organization (WTO)ruled that US authorities were engaging in unfair business practices by blocking its citizens from engaging in online gambling.
The actions in America had a big impact on the Antiguan online gambling industry, so much so that the WTO authorized Antigua to fire back with $21 million a year in equally unfair trade practices. In fact, the WTO gave its blessings to the Antiguans to extract that penalty from properties copyrighted in the US. So far, however, the Antiguans haven’t gone that far, but the Americans haven’t budged a bit. That’s led to some serious frustration from government officials in the Caribbean country that was recently devastated by hurricanes.
Late last week Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador Ronald Sanders addressed the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body and told them that his country was losing hope that the settlement would every, truly, be settled, according to a report on CalvinAyre.com. After 15 years of working tirelessly to seek some sort of redress, he’s all but given up.
And judging by the response from the Trump administration, he’s probably right.
US Ambassador Dennis Shea dismissed Sanders’ statement as a, “political statement, rather than an effort to engage on a resolution.” Shea went on to criticize the tiny island nation for making extreme demands and not meeting the US on its terms.
Unfortunately for Antigua, the US has a long track record of ignoring WTO missives and penalties that it doesn’t agree with and, in the climate of “America First”, it’s unlikely that any adults will be available to seriously consider Antigua’s claims.