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Antigua, US Hold Talks On Gaming Dispute

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, New York
15 November, 2013

Antigua and Barbuda sent a team to Washington, DC on November 14, 2013 to hold negotiations with the Office of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) on the gaming dispute between the two countries.

The meeting was convened with the aim of reaching a resolution on the ongoing dispute over US laws blocking foreign-based operators from offering cross-border gambling and betting services to US consumers.

The US laws have allegedly harmed Antigua's remote gaming industry, which is estimated to have been worth over USD3.4bn and was the country's second-largest employer. In 2004 the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the US had breached its commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) by enforcing the laws in question. Then, earlier this year, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body ruled that the Caribbean territory could suspend selected US intellectual property rights to the tune of USD21m per year as compensation for the US measures.

Baldwin Spencer, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, has said that resolving the issue in a fair, reasonable and positive manner is a top priority for his government.

In October Antigua and Barbuda announced that it had formed a WTO Remedies Implementation Committee aimed at "harvesting benefits" from the suspension of US intellectual property rights.

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