US-Antigua and Barbuda settlement still to be reached
According to the Caribbean Media, the Finance Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Harold Lovell this week denied multi-million dollar settlement claims in the dispute between the US and his country.
In this long-running case, the World Trade Organisation Dispute Settlement Body decided that the US had didn’t act in line with the 2005 ruling against prohibitions on internet gambling in 2007. As damage compensation, the organization granted Antigua and Barbuda US$21million in annual trade sanctions against the US. However, even though the negotiations have been ongoing for a while, the two countries still have to reach a settlement.
It was stated by the Antigua Labor Party Deputy Leader Gaston Browne that the settlement will be reached any time now, adding that an agreement has been reached that the Antigua and Barbuda Government would get a single payment of US$10 million and that it would put a ban on gaming in the country. He expressed his opinion that such a settlement would in fact have an opposite effect on telecom and internet companies, as well as other service providers.
On the other hand, Lovell stated: “We have not accepted any offers that have been put on the table. Before we accept any offers that are placed on the table we would consult with the relevant parties here in Antigua and Barbuda. We’d want to see what impact any such agreement would have, not only with respect to the operators but also on the economy of Antigua and Barbuda.”
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