A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel began hearing arguments yesterday in the case between the islands of Antigua and Barbuda and the United States. The hearing is likely to take about three days, and the panel will deliver its final ruling early in 2004.
In his opening statement (which is attached below), Antigua and Barbuda's Chief Foreign Affairs Representative Sir Ronald Sanders called the U.S.'s I-gaming policies "simply protectionism."
Sanders has charged the U.S. with breaking its obligations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). He said, "Although the United States has advanced a number of disjointed defenses against our claims in this matter, the reality is that the United States is denying licensed and regulated Antiguan service suppliers access to the massive American gambling markets in violation of its commitments under the GATS [General Agreement on Trade in Services],"
To read a Sir Ronald Sanders' Opening Statement click here.