As speculation about how the upcoming change in the make-up of the US Congress and House of Representatives may impact on Antigua & Barbuda’s economic interests, at least one senior diplomat is holding out hope that some changes might come about on key issues.
Ambassador Colin Murdoch, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said he expected some progress in negotiations on the gaming issue, once power shifts into democratic hands in January, when newly elected representatives take office in both houses.
“I do not necessarily believe that there is much difference in the democratic and republican administrations. In fact, some of the harshest blows that the Caribbean has received in recent times, we got from the democrats – like bananas. That was done under a democratic administration.
“Having said that, I believe that when it comes to Internet gaming, I believe that there will be some new opportunities, with the new Congress, after January, to explore with them some change to the legislation that has been passed. Either a repeal or an amendment of that legislation,” Murdoch told the Antigua Sun.
The saga continues between the US and Antigua. For such a small island they have shown a lot of guts and determination in this battle.Antigua’s top finance official, said that a new deadline date of Friday, June 20th has been set to settle their dispute with Washington and St. John over internet gambling. It was set to be settled on June 6th, but was not.
WTO Compensation in the case U.S. versus Antigua and Barbuda Extended
Recently it became known that the World Trade Organization (WTO) granted an extension deadline until December 14th 2007 for a negotiated settlement between the U.S. and the Caribbean Island of Antigua & Barbuda. This dispute long pending since 2003 is not the only challenge the United States is facing, as further compensation decisions has to be secured to fellow World Trade Organization members.
Antigua takes their case to the WTOOn Thursday, Antigua and Barbuda will outline their case before the WTO (World Trade Organization) arbitrators in the on going Internet gaming dispute with the U.S.The government of Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer is seeking US$3.4 billion in trade sanctions against the United States after it banned cross-border Internet gambling.On Thursday, a three-member panel of arbitrators will hear oral arguments in Geneva from both sides before making a ruling.