Antigua not letting US off the hook in WTO case

Sir Ron Sanders

The Antigua and Barbuda government on Friday told the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that it would not let the United States off the hook over its internationally binding obligation to allow internet gaming into the country until fair compensation is paid for the 14 years of damage done to the Antigua and Barbuda economy.

The statement was made at the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the WTO by Antigua and Barbuda’s lead negotiator on the matter Sir Ronald Sanders.

The Antigua and Barbuda representative told the DSB, made up of more than 100 nations, “It continues to be most unfortunate that, despite 14 long years of deprivation, Antigua and Barbuda has to appear before this body, year after year, to report that the United States has not seen it possible to offer fair and equitable terms to my small country for the significant losses in trade revenues that it has suffered as a result of US violation of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).”

Sanders also rejected a US submission that it had offered Antigua “a broad range of useful suggestions to settle this dispute in November 2013” but that the government ignored it “before finally indicating that it was not acceptable”. Sanders pointed out that successive governments of Antigua and Barbuda had refused the offer because it did not add up to even US$2 million, while the trade losses to his country in the matter totalled well over US$200 million.

Sanders explained to the DSB that, when “the US makes a fair, equitable and just offer to Antigua and Barbuda for the extreme harm done to our economy, Antigua will release the US from its legal obligation” consistent with the rules of the WTO.

The ambassador pointed out that, over the 14 years of its trade losses, Antigua and Barbuda “has in no way taken any hostile or retaliatory action against the US”. He stressed that “the contrary is the truth”, adding that “over that same period, the US enjoyed a trade surplus with little Antigua and Barbuda of U$2 billion”.

Sanders also advised the WTO body of the extreme financial difficulties that his government now faces to rebuild the island of Barbuda that was devastated by Hurricane Irma and to maintain residents of Barbuda who had to be evacuated to Antigua.

And the ambassador declared: “There would be no better time than now for the United States to settle this long-running issue, which mars an otherwise friendly relationship between our two countries that has existed for generations.”

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.
Contact us at [email protected]


  1. Problem is Antigua has a lead negotiator who has no moral standing or credibility to represent this nation before any international body after his implication in the IHI scandal. It was only through legal technicalities and the UPP’ ineptitude in pursuing justice for this nation’s people that he is not languishing in jail today!

Comments are closed.