Saturday, May 26, 2007

Antigua Ups Ante, Asks for EU, Chinese Support

In our previous post, we mentioned that Antigua & Barbuda was poised to push back as strongly as possible at the United States for the U.S.'s defiance of the WTO judgment recently awarded to Antigua in the long-running war over Internet gambling. What was surprising is just how strongly and quickly Antigua continues to push the matter.

Several sources have reported that Antiguan representatives have appealed directly to Chinese and European Union [EU] officials, attempting to enlist their efforts as aggrieved parties in the matter of compensation from the United States, or in the case of the EU, to ensure that the international trade body backs up its judgment with as strong an award as possible. Antigua's own economy, heavily devoted to the online-gambling industry in previous years, has declined overall as its gambling sector fell 85% from its highest point a few years back.

China, already under attack fron the United States in a different WTO dispute, is viewed as very likely to join the action on Antigua's side, as much in retaliation against the U.S.'s own claims as anything else. The EU, for its part, has a heavy interest in backing Antigua's claims, since several member nations have been adversely affected by the U.S.'s protectionist stance. Several other countries have expressed interest in filing compensatory claims against the U.S., while not one country has hinted that it supports the U.S.'s stance. Viva la difference? We think not.

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