Antigua and Barbuda Angry USA Still Violating WTO Rules

Published Wednesday, July 07, 2010 -

The Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda is small but tough and has decided to once again take on the large and powerful U.S.A. Antigua and Barbuda is claiming that U.S. violations of World Trade Organization regulations on e-commerce have had a profound effect on the island nation's economy and is now threatening sanctions against the United States.
The Prime Minister Mr. Baldwin Spencer announced recently that he’s considering taking up the World Trade Organisation on its ruling that gave Antigua and Barbuda the right to apply up to $21 million USD per year in sanctions. "Given the debilitating effect of the fiscal and economic crisis on our economy and the apparent disinterest of the United States in dealing decisively with this matter, Antigua and Barbuda may have no other choice but to signal to the World Trade Organisation that we wish to impose sanctions," he said to the press at the CARICOM summit in Jamaica.
In 2007, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body arbitrator said that Antigua and Barbuda can impose the sanctions as compensation for online gambling operators who were ousted from the U.S. market.
The U.S. has since ignored Antiguan overtures to negotiate the issue.
The "obvious unwillingness of the U.S. to reach a negotiated settlement that takes into account the contribution of the sector to the economic well-being of Antigua and Barbuda," Spencer has taken the country's concerns to the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community. Spencer stated he will seek sanctions "if Washington continues to thwart efforts at finding a negotiated solution."
The Prime Minister's approach does not sit well with the people of the tiny island nation as bloggers and other outspoken opponents to the plan have said that sanctioning the USA is only going to hurt the Antigua and Barbuda economy even more.
The opposition Antigua Labour Party has voiced it's concerns also, stating, "Any sanctions that the UPP government applies to the US would seriously hurt the people of Antigua and Barbuda and would hardly affect US businesses or the US government,"


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