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The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has enlisted the help of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), in its bid to have the United States (US) comply with a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling on an Internet gambling dispute between the two countries.
In 2004, the WTO ruled in Antigua and Barbuda’s favour after the Caribbean nation challenged measures implemented by the US, which affected its cross-border supply of gambling and betting services.
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Hon. Dr. Baldwin Spencer, told a press conference on the second day (July 5) of the 31st Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, underway at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa, in Montego Bay, St. James that the country was having serious concerns about the US’ non-compliance, six years after the first ruling was handed down.
He said that the Antiguan economy had suffered drastically as a result of the delay, and informed that he had requested that CARICOM use all at its disposal to facilitate a settlement of the dispute. Mr. Spencer added that while Antigua remained committed to partnership with the US, the Government was committed to exploring all possibilities for a settlement.
“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 WTO that we wish to impose sanctions,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Spencer said his Government would be seeking an early meeting with President of the United States, Barack Obama, and his administration to settle the matter, which he said had remained unresolved for too long, with no end in sight.