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Antigua and Barbuda Enact Sanctions Against US

post Wednesday August 7, 2013

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A recent decision by the United States government has generated a great deal of tension between the United States and Antigua and Barbuda. The United States recently instituted legislation that has put an end to any forms of online gambling that is conducted via websites whose servers are hosted offshore. This ban has created a rift between the two countries that does not appear to have a clear option for resolution or an easing of the positions by either government.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has decided that they have found the United States in violation of a variety of terms and agreements as a result of the recently imposed ban on online gambling that is hosted offshore. The government of Antigua and Barbuda was negatively affected by the US decision to ban gambling and began to investigate potential options for retaliation. After the WTO’s determination that the US had indeed violated terms and agreements in place by the WTO, Antigua and Barbuda elected to suspend any and all American intellectual property benefits as a form of retaliation to the US legislation. The response from Antigua and Barbuda has been allowed by the WTO under a provision for “cross-sectorial retaliation.”

Antigua and Barbuda did not reach the decision to suspend the benefits in retaliation without working on a compromise with the United States. It has been made clear by Antiguan officials and leadership that a mutual agreement was preferred for the countries, but no compromise could be made. Representatives from Antigua and Barbuda feel that the United States has not provided real negotiating options and were subsequently forced to suspend IP rights. The financial implications for halting any benefits and concessions for American IP are expected to result in $21 million US per year. The sanctions will be retroactive to the fiscal year 2006. Additionally, officials from Antigua and Barbuda have organized a committee to oversee the implementation of these sanctions and any further negotiations regarding this developing issue with the United States.

Source: Info Justice
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