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Attorney Generals Protest WTO Decision

8 June 2005

WASHINGTON, DC – As reported by the Desert Morning News: "In the wake of a World Trade Organization decision that throws into doubt Utah's ban on Internet gambling, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and 28 other attorneys general have written a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman calling for a greater states' voice in future trade talks.

"'Antigua has no business trying to write Utah's gambling laws,' Shurtleff said Tuesday. 'The Trade Representative needs to know that we have too much at stake to remain silent.'

"The World Trade Organization ruled earlier this year in a case brought by the tiny island nation of Antigua that the United States cannot block other countries from offering Internet gambling to U.S. residents, even if they live in states like Utah and Hawaii where gambling is illegal.

"…A WTO dispute panel ruled last November that the Antiguans were correct. And under terms of an international trade agreement, Utah could now find itself legally defenseless to stop Internet gaming within its borders.

"Shurtleff and Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell solicited the other attorneys general to sign the letter requesting more dialogue with Portman on trade issues, especially when they affect state rights…"

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