US Asks Antigua for DelayPublished December 24, 2007 by OCR Editor
The ongoing saga of the United States versus Antigua seems to be gathering pace as Washington asked that Antigua delay sanctions imposed on it by the World Trade Organisation.
The WTO ruling determined that the US open its doors to trade sanctions. This meant that Antigua would be able to do 21 million dollars worth of trade in place of their loss of gambling revenue, after the US banned outside gaming companies from operating on its soil.
Washington asked for the delay saying it was revising its WTO commitments. US Trade Representative spokesman Sean Spicer suggested Antigua delay any action. Spicer said Washington has initiated a formal process at the WTO to revise its commitments and is in official talks with Antigua and the other six WTO members that have been affected.
We would expect that Antigua would not suspend its WTO commitments to the United States while that process is underway, Spicer said.
Once the process of clarifying the US schedule of commitments is complete, any issues in our bilateral dispute with Antigua will be moot, and there will no longer be any basis for suspending WTO commitments.
Originally Antigua complained in 2003 of the US gambling ban citing it was a violation of WTO agreements. They asked the WTO for 3.44 billion dollars worth of trade sanctions, which the US stated was patently excessive and more than three times the value of the Antiguan economy in total.