Antigua-US Dispute Expected to Be Resolved by Month's EndPublished January 16, 2016 by Florin P
Antigua and the US return to the negotiation table to solve trade dispute.
The trading dispute between the US government and Antigua dates from 2004 and until recently, there was little hope for a settlement. 2016 brings good news though, because it seems like a resolution of the trade argument is just around the corner. The officials of both Antigua and the United States finally agreed to resolve the WTA dispute by the end of the month, with US authorities being the initiators.
A Mutually Beneficial Resolution
Both parties held firm for 12 years and the occasional offers made by either of them were swiftly dismissed over this long period of time. Apparently, the United States’ latest offer brings something new to the table, but the details are yet to be disclosed to the broad audience. Charles Fernandez, Antigua’s Foreign Affairs Minister indicated that his country is leaning towards accepting this offer.
Few remember that the scandal began almost 13 years ago, when Antigua filed the original complaint to the World Trade Organization. They were upset by the fact that the United States showed discriminatory treatment to nations that were licensing online gambling sites serving the US market. The Americans countered with the argument of trying to regulate all gambling operators, without being unfair to any nation in particular.
Antigua Hopes for Financial Compensations
The World Trade Organization initially ruled in the favor of Antigua, stating that the United States allowed bookmakers to place bets on online horse races. These were accepted within the US borders, while other international operators were denied access or blocked each step of the way.
Antigua was supposed to collect $21 million on a yearly basis from the United States, as a compensation for the ban enforced by the American authorities. Unfortunately for the tiny nation, it is yet to see a dime and this only amplified the trade dispute. Now that the resolution finally seems possible, they might receive the financial compensations, despite the lack of success of the previous negotiations.