Antigua Prepares to Pursue Retaliatory Sanctions Against the U.S
The Finance Minister of the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda has said that it will be pursuing retaliatory sanctions against U.S. commercial services and intellectual property as part of its trade battle with the United States.
According to Finance Minister Harold Lovell, the country has spent years trying to negotiate a “fair settlement” with the U.S., the island is accusing the States of damaging its economy by banning Americans from placing online bets with gambling operators based on the island.
Lovell said that as a nation they “are entitled to all the rights and the protection of the WTO.” He went on to say that having tried all other options it is now time to pursue sanctions.
If there isn’t a last-minute settlement Antigua will formally announce its intentions at Geneva-based World Trade Organisation next Monday.
The announcement will also include specifics of which U.S. industries it intends to target.
In 2007 the WTO gave Antigua the right to target U.S. services in retaliation for the betting ban; however the trade sanctions had an annual limit of $21 million imposed upon them. Antigua was looking for the right to impose $3.4 billion in retaliatory measures.
However, Lovell says he is determined that without “a fair settlement, this is the route we will take.”