Yet another deadline has come and gone in the settlement talks between the U.S. and Antigua over trade sanctions imposed by the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body arbitrator last December. Antigua had filed a complaint with the WTO that accused the United States of severely limiting their gambling industry when a law passed in 2006 banning American citizens from placing online wagers with operators outside the U.S. borders. Antigua claimed this violated trade agreements that the U.S. had made with them and the WTO agreed.
The WTO had imposed a deadline of June 6 but both countries decided that they needed more time to work out all the details. The latest deadline was set for June 20 but Antigua and the United States have not yet been able to come to a compromise that is satisfactory to both parties. The two countries are not giving up on reaching an agreement in their online gaming dispute and announced a further extension of time on the talks. The latest deadline is July 11 but officials have left it open for even more extensions if needed at that time.
A spokesman for the US Trade Representative has said that the U.S. and Antigua were both working in good faith in order to settle the dispute through a mutual agreement. Antigua’s Finance Minister Errol Cort said the discussions would continue as long as both sides remained committed to reaching an agreement.
“Once we’re satisfied that there is meaningful dialogue and that the parties generally need an additional amount of time, then we will so agree,” he said. “So far we are very satisfied that the discussions and the dialogue have all been very fruitful and that we genuinely need further time to iron out certain specific issues and specific components of the proposed settlement.”