Report: E.U.-U.S. Talks “Did Not Go Well” (Update)
September 22, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — The talks in Washington this week between a European Union delegation and U.S. politicians and United States Trade Representative (USTR) officials on what E.U. gambling businesses claim is discriminatory and unfair official action against non-U.S. companies have reportedly ended with little forward movement, according to sources who spoke to the Reuters news agency.
Apparently the U.S. Trade Representative's office declined to change its attitude and policies on the issue, and E.U. delegation efforts to examine the approach of U.S. federal enforcement agencies were rebuffed.
Although no official statement has yet been made, it is reported that the dispute is now more likely than ever to end up in a massively expensive claim against the U.S. on the heavy damages suffered by E.U. companies following U.S. legislative moves and the USTR's subsequent abrogation of its WTO commitments in terms of gambling obligations.
Reuters quoted a legal representative for the Remote Gaming Association, the European trade association which has been urging E.U. action on the U.S. gambling issue. Lode Van Den Hende said: "It looks very much as if this matter will … be sent to the WTO at the end of the commission's investigation."
Reuters also reported that an unidentified E.U. official had voiced the apparent inebvitability of further action, saying that an E.U. report would be compiled by November, after which the E.U. would have to decide on the most appropriate course to follow, including the possibility of further WTO action.