MARGARITA ISLAND, VENEZUELA (CARIBUPDATE/Sept 19, 2016) – Antigua’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has called for the “active solidarity” of members of the Non Aligned Movement in its internet gaming war with the US.
In an addressed to the Non Alignment meeting here Saturday, Browne bitterly complained that the US has failed to offer a fair settlement after the World Trade Organisation had ruled 13 years ago that American action was illegal.
The WTO had ruled that against the United States' total prohibition of cross-border gambling services offered by Antiguan operators.
“To this day 13 years later the United States has not put a fair offer on the table,’” Brown complained, saying Washington’s failure has “deprived my small country of revenue, employment and economic growth.”
He said the Antigua has been deprived of about 250 million US dollars since the ruling.
Browne asked: “How do small and micro states get justice when powerful nations refuse to cooperate?”
The Antiguan leader said his country has begun to seriously consider selling US material without paying copyright to the value of 12 million US dollars a year until the Americans finally settle.
That is the course of the remedy the WTO has promised in the face of what Brown calls the American’s “recalcitrance.”
“We have reached such a level of frustration at the recalcitrance of the US to make a fair offer for the injury that has been done to our economy over the last 13 years that my government is contemplating activating the remedy that is given to us by the WTO,” he told delegates of over 100 countries at the summit here.
Browne asked: “How can it be that the United States, the most powerful economy and county in the world, can so blatantly disregard the very trade rules that it demands be observed by other countries?”
“This domineering behaviour by the US is troublesome,” he declared. “We are a small state, but we have rights to. And we will stand in defense of the sovereign rights of Antigua and Barbuda.”