PM seeks World Bank support against U.S.

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua & Barbuda: Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has turned to the World Bank for help in getting the United States to reach a final resolution with his country, following a 2007 World Trade Organization (WTO) internet gaming ruling.

In March 2007, the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO ruled that the U.S. had failed to comply with the 2005 ruling against prohibitions on Internet gambling. Later in the year, the WTO granted Antigua US$21 million in annual trade sanctions against the U.S. as compensation for damages.

During a meeting with World Bank President Robert Zoellick at the 21st Intercessional Meeting of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government last Sunday, Spencer requested that the World Bank intervene in the dispute and said his country has been trying to resolve the matter with the U.S.

However, he stressed that Antigua and Barbuda is not in any position to impose sanctions against the U.S.

“What we are seeking is a negotiated resolution to this matter and (we) don’t know to what extent the World Bank can be of assistance in this regard but it is an important matter for Antigua and Barbuda,” said Spencer.

Negotiations are still ongoing, but Spencer says an immediate resolution to the matter seems unlikely.

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