No progress in US-EU talks

The talks in Washington this week between a European Union delegation and US politicians and USTR officials on what EU gambling businesses claim is discriminatory and unfair official action against non-US companies (see previous InfoPowa reports) have reportedly ended with little forward movement, according to sources who spoke to the Reuters news agency.

Apparently the US Trade Representative's office declined to change its attitude and policies on the issue, and EU delegation efforts to examine the approach of US federal enforcement agencies were rebuffed.

Although no official statement has yet been made, it is reported that the dispute is now more likely than ever to end up in a massively expensive claim against the US on the heavy damages suffered by EU companies following US legislative moves and the USTR's subsequent abrogation of its WTO commitments in terms of gambling obligations.

Reuters quoted a legal representative for the Remote Gaming Association, the European trade association which has been urging EU action on the US gambling issue. Lode Van Den Hende said: "It looks very much as if this matter will... be sent to the WTO at the end of the commission's investigation."

Reuters also reported that an unidentified EU official had voiced the apparent inebvitability of further action, saying that an EU report would be compiled by November, after which the EU would have to decide on the most appropriate course to follow, including the possibility of further WTO action.

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