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WTO Panel Selected for Antigua, US Dispute

8 September 2003

Representatives from the United States and Antigua and Barbuda met last week with the newly appointed World Trade Organization panel assigned to their dispute to discuss the scheduling and organization of the panel.

After a few meetings in which the nations were unable to agree upon the composition of the panel, Antigua and Barbuda's chief of foreign affairs, Sir Ronald Sanders, exercised his right to ask the WTO director general, Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, to appoint the members of the panel.

On Aug. 15, Panitchpakdi appointed B K Zuthshi of India as chairman of the panel and Virachai Plasai of Thailand and Richard Plender QC of the United Kingdom as the other two members.

Sanders wants to move the process along as quickly as possible.

"Antigua and Barbuda would like the panel hearing to proceed expeditiously because every day that passes causes our small economy to lose money and threatens employment in our country even further," he explained.

He also said of the panelists, "These are three distinguished men with wide experience in the WTO, its binding agreements, and its rules. I have no doubt that they will give both parties to the dispute a fair hearing."

On Aug. 26, Sanders delivered a speech to the Antigua and Barbuda chamber of commerce in which he stated that due to U.S. policies, the islands' government has lost $33.3 million in license fees and the economy has lost over $37 million in wages and salaries over the last four and a half years.

Antigua and Barbuda filed the its complaint against the United States to a WTO dispute body in June, arguing that U.S. policies prohibiting credit-card companies and financial institutions from delivering funds for online gambling transactions are in violation of the general agreement on trade and services. They also contest that the policies are crippling Antigua's economy, which is highly dependent on interactive gaming. The United States blocked Antigua's first request to set up an arbitration panel.

The case appeared before the dispute settlement body again in July, however, and this time it authorized the establishment of a panel to resolve

Click here to view Sir Ronald Sanders' speech to the WTO.

WTO Panel Selected for Antigua, US Dispute is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Bradley Vallerius

Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com
Bradley Vallerius
Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com