US Doesn’t Want to Pay WTO Members
An article in the Antigua Sun last week discloses new details about the World Trade Organization case that Antigua and Barbuda has risen against the United States. As the case developed additional countries have joined Antigua’s in its claims against the U.S. Currently, the United States is facing Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Macao, Japan and the European Union. Quite a long list, I would say. The main issue in Antigua’s case against the states is the American ban over online casino gambling and how it reflects on international trade agreements.
The United States, according to the article, will not budge. Instead of solving the matter by lifting the ban over online casino gambling in the American market, U.S. authorities are trying to clarify Article 21 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services which concerns with the country’s obligations when it comes to gambling. Basically, the United States is hoping that it could change its obligations to the World Trade Organization in a way that would leave gambling outside of the body’s jurisdiction. In such a way, the United States is hoping it could keep the current ban over online casino gambling in place and block firms from offering online services to American citizens.
Such an option would not make things any easier on the United States as it will still have to reach settlements with all World Trade Organization members that will be impacted by the U.S withdrawal of its prior obligations. These settlements could reach skyrocketing sums as the European Union alone is filling for $15.5 billion. Instead of giving up their current policy on online casino gambling and seeking other much better alternatives, such as regulation and taxation, the United States is fighting a battle it can’t win. Either way, the American economy would only suffer as a result of the current ban over online gambling.