America in failure to implement 2005 ruling in dispute with Antigua and Barbuda
Friday 30th March 2007
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has confirmed today that the US has lost its battle against Antigua and Barbuda, citing that the US had done nothing to abide by an earlier verdict that termed some of its online gambling restrictions as illegal, according to reports by Reuters news agency.
The Geneva-based trade adjudicator said that the Caribbean island had provided additional evidence that strengthened its case.
'The panel concludes that the United States has failed to comply with the recommendations and rulings of the (WTO's) DSB (Dispute Settlement Body),' the WTO said in the ruling, which is subject to appeal.
The dispute concerns an April 2005 WTO verdict against US prohibitions on Internet betting, notably on horse racing. Since then, the US Congress has passed additional legislation to ban betting over the Internet.
'This is a smashing success for Antigua in every possible way. The report will sweep away any lingering doubt that Antigua has obtained a clear and convincing win over the United States in this matter,' said John W. Ashe, Antigua's ambassador to the WTO. There was no immediate reaction from Washington.
In the ruling, the WTO panel of three trade judges said that the United States had not contested the Antiguan charge that it had done nothing to implement the 2005 ruling.
Instead, Washington had simply sought to re-open the case, but without giving the panel any grounds to do so, it said.