I have yet to digest the official ruling (for the most committed trade nerds, it’s available here), but the United States has been dealt yet another blow in its dispute with Antigua and Barbuda over Internet gambling.
According to a World Trade Organization report released to the public today, the United States has not complied with the rulings and recommendations of a previous panel’s verdict that the United States’ ban on online gambling services was in violation of its commitments to the WTO (more here). Translation: the United States has not made any changes to its restrictions on gambling over the Internet that would make its laws WTO-consistent.
The United States will probably appeal this latest ruling, but if it loses that appeal and continues to refuse to change its laws, then the state of Antigua and Barbuda could retaliate to recover the damage that it claims has accrued to its online gambling industry as a result of the U.S. ban. Retaliation usually involves placing tariffs on the goods of the offending country, in this case the United States. (That is, of course, an economically insane way of “punishing” the violator, but I digress.)
Radley Balko is hoping that Antigua and Barbuda will instead choose to kick the United States where it hurts, and suspend its obligations to protect the intellectual property rights of American companies.