US, Antigua officially end Internet gambling talks

A U.S. trade official said Thursday that the United States and the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda have official broken off talks that were hoped to resolve their dispute over whether or not U.S. Internet gambling laws violated trade agreements.

The two sides had suspended official litigation in the matter in June to try to come to an agreement on their own. Antigua and Barbuda had taken claims to the World Trade Organization saying that the United States' laws against online gambling were in violation of trade regulations.

The WTO agreed that the laws violated global trade rules and gave the United States an April deadline to change them.

After the United States failed to make the deadline and refused to take any action in the ruling, the two nations came together to try to come up with a solution agreeable to them both.

Harold Lovell, Antigua and Barbuda's minister of tourism, foreign affairs, and international transport and trade, said the country's delegation had presented a number of proposals to the United States, which were rejected, and the solutions the U.S. delegates offered weren't acceptable either.

They were unable to reach a settlement and Antigua and Barbuda are expected to notify the WTO that they plan to resume litigation against the United States. Resuming the litigation process also allows the WTO to release its panel ruling on the matter, and for the United States to begin its appeal.

The WTO also recently convened another panel to investigate whether the U.S. laws are in violation of trade regulations and has 90 days to investigate and report on the United State's compliance in the matter.

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