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Antigua and Barbuda, US Internet Online Casino disputes



GENEVA, Switzerland: With the deadline for action a mere three weeks away, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) heard a status report from the United States on Friday on steps it intends to take to implement that body’s recommendations and rulings in the Internet-gaming dispute with Antigua and Barbuda.


In introducing the report to the DSB, the US representative, Mr. Steven Fabry, said that the US Administration, in consultation with the US Congress, has been working on appropriate steps to resolve this matter.


According to the Antigua and Barbuda government, this is the same stock response he had given on every occasion in which the US was required to submit a status report, on the steps it had taken to resolve the various disputes it had lost to another WTO member.


In response to the US statement, Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the WTO, Dr. John Ashe, said that: As we had anticipated, the statement provides little in the way of useful information to this body and to our country as to when and how the United States will come into compliance with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB. With an implementation deadline approaching on 3 April 2006, less than three weeks from now, we might be forgiven, Sir, for having some anxiety at a complete lack of information from the United States on this important matter facing the small and delicate economy of Antigua and Barbuda.


Ambassador Ashe also highlighted the repeated efforts of his government to devised an equitable solution to the dispute that would not only take into account the benefits accorded to Antigua and Barbuda under the recommendations and rulings, but also reasonably and comprehensively address the concerns raised by the United States as …