Charles Fernandez, Antigua’s Minister of International Trade and Foreign Affairs believes that the United States may be ready to settle their 12-year WTO (World Trade Organization) dispute. He states, “We’re going to try and see how best we could move forward this issue…. I won’t be able to state publicly what our strategy is and what we are putting on the table…. What I can say is that I think we are at a stage now, where there is a serious commitment, or it seems to me, there’s a serious commitment on both sides to work as quickly as possible to settle this issue.”
Antigua claims that when the U.S. shut down their citizen’s access to Antigua’s online gambling websites in 2003, Antiqua’s economy was severely impacted. The U.S. bans the ability for other countries to provide online gambling to U.S. citizens, while allowing U.S. companies to deliver online gaming around the world. Antiqua took the imbalanced trade relationship to the WTO and every review over the years has favored Antigua.
For a single payment of $100 million, Antigua is reportedly ready to settle the long-standing dispute. Fernandez meets with US Trade Representatives next week.