A delegation from Antigua and Barbuda met with representatives from the European Commission, Japan and China Tuesday in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the nation's World Trade Organization (WTO) Internet gambling case against the United States. They are third parties in the case.
The WTO panel examining the case is expecting to receive submissions from the third parties in the case next week and a rebuttal by Antigua and Barbuda in three weeks about what the United States has submitted to the panel. The United States will then be given a chance for rebuttal.
The panel will convene its first hearing in November and is expected it give a final ruling in January or February.
Members of the delegation expressed that they were pleased that the European Union, Japan, and China were sticking with Antigua and Barbuda on the case. Japan and the European Union are two of the United State's largest trading partners. The delegation also had briefing sessions with representatives from Brazil, Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago while in Switzerland.
The meeting gave Antigua and Barbuda another chance to discuss their belief that the United States has shown a complete disregard for the WTO ruling that the United States needed to change its laws and policy regarding online gambling because they are in violation of agreements made when they joined the WTO.
Since that ruling, the United States failed to comply with the WTO and has gone one step more recently to further outlaw online gambling in the nation.
Elliott Paige, of the OECS Technical Mission to the WTO, said in a Caribbean Net News article, "It would indeed be a very sad day for the WTO if the rulings and recommendations of its dispute settlement mechanism on matters of considerable economic importance to its smallest members are completely ignored by its larger and more economically powerful members."