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Antigua tells US prepare for frustration in WTO battle

30 May 2007

ANTIGUA -- As reported by the Antigua Sun: "The US effort to withdraw from its World Trade Organisation (WTO) obligation to grant market access to online gambling countries may drag on for years, Antigua & Barbuda's Attorney Mark Mendel said.

"On 4 May the US announced it would withdraw its commitment for gambling and betting services under Article 21 of the General Agreement on Trade in Service, saying that this will end the dispute with Antigua & Barbuda over remote gambling.

"'They can't effectively withdraw the commitment until they have settled with every single country that files a complaint,' Mendel said. Any of the other 149 members of the WTO can file a claim of compensation against the US for its attempt to withdraw from its commitment to market access for online gambling operators, under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

"Mendel said that while Antigua & Barbuda has been encouraging countries to file complaints, he does not yet know how many countries will actually do so.

"...Mendel stressed the importance of the issue, which he said spoke to the integrity of the WTO and its processes...."

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