PM Browne wants US gaming settlement

- Advertisement -

Hurricane Irma’s devastation of Barbuda has prompted Prime Minister Gaston Browne to call on the U.S. to pay the long overdue online gaming settlement Antigua and Barbuda won since 2004.
Browne made the call during his address to the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York Thursday.
In making the call, which is based on a 2004 WTO dispute arbitration award, Browne said: “It has been 13 years since that judgment, and seven years since the final appeal by the U.S., resulted in a final ruling in my country’s favour. Yet the United States government has failed to settle,” Browne told the Assembly.
He pegged the loss in revenue at more than U.S. $200 million and said efforts to reach an amicable settlement over the years had been unsuccessful.
According to the PM, it was a classic case of “might is right” with the rights of his small, powerless country being trampled upon. Browne also pointed out that the U.S. had enjoyed a trade surplus with Antigua and Barbuda to the tune of U.S. $2 billion over the last 13 years.
And while acknowledging the state of affairs was not the creation of the current U.S. government, the Caribbean leader called on his American counterpart to act fairly. 
“It would be beneficial to my nation, in this hour of its great need, for the United States government to settle it. In this very hall just two days ago, President Trump said of the United States, ‘we can no longer be taken advantage of, or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return’.
His observation, which I welcome, is equally true for the relationship with Antigua and Barbuda. Honouring their obligation to Antigua and Barbuda is not a one-sided deal, of which the United States gets nothing in return, because ultimately, 90 percent of the settlement proceeds will be spent in the U.S. economy, as our primary source market.”
Browne said making good on the over 13 years of trade losses would take less than one year of the trade surplus that the U.S.’s 20-trillion-dollar economy has with Antigua and Barbuda.   
In 2013 Antigua and Barbuda received authorisation from the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body to suspend concessions and obligations to the United States in respect of intellectual property rights.
The gaming dispute arose from the implementation of regulations in the U.S., which affected the supply of gambling and betting services provided by Antigua and Barbuda. The Caribbean state successfully argued that the U.S. measures ran counter to its obligations to a fellow WTO member-state.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

18 + eleven =