Antigua Disappointed With WTO
Last week Antigua stated that it would be placing sanctions upon the US due to the ongoing disagreement regarding online gaming. Antigua argues that the US is placing unfair restrictions on the market and that because of these many jobs have been lost in the once lucrative market, in fact down from 3,000 to a mere 400 employees now remain in place. This issue has been before the WTO for a number of years with the WTO initially voting in favor of Antigua and fining the US who now owe the tiny island a total of $21 million. The fact that the US has failed to pay allows Antigua to take the money in other ways such as ignoring artistic copyrights to films and music for example, however Antigua has not done this. The latest is that Antigua requested that the issue be on the agenda for Monday the 17th December however the WTO said that it could not accommodate due to the untimely hour it was requested. Commissioner to London Carl Roberts stated that they were in the building prior to the dissemination and completion of the notice and he added, "Antigua and Barbuda is a small developing country under particular economic stress in these difficult times. We haven't the resources to maintain a mission here in Geneva and the prosecution of this case and the pursuit of our rights under the WTO agreements have been expensive, enormously time consuming and difficult". They will however be back in January in an attempt to finalize matters.