WTO backs Antigua for $21 million annual in sanctions against USA

tell me this isn’t poker

WTO Ruling
December 21, 2007

the WTO rewarded Antigua $21 million in annual trade sanctions…

The tiny Caribbean nation can exercise the sanctions in intellectual property, such as films and music, for instance by lifting copyright protection, as well as in services, which includes sectors such as banking and telecommunications as well as gambling.

Mark Mendel, the lawyer who has been spearheading this case for the Antiguan government since it began back in 2003 observed “I am pleased that the panel approved our ability to cross-retaliate by suspension of intellectual property rights of United States business interests. That has only been done once before and is, I believe, a very potent weapon.”

When Kenneth Weitzner from Eye On Gambling  www.eog.com) asked about these possible sanctions on a conference call today which included reporters worldwide, Mark Mendel stated that this would be used as a last resort. But, he did say that if Antigua went this route, it would occur sometime in 2008.

ustr says:
The United States is concerned, however, that the Arbitrator agreed with Antigua’s request to suspend WTO concessions not just with respect to services, but also with respect to intellectual property rights (IPR). Any authorization pursuant to the award would be strictly limited to Antigua; every other WTO Member remains obliged to protect U.S. IPR under WTO rules, including enforcement against any IPR-infringing goods. Moreover, even with respect to Antigua, it would establish a harmful precedent for a WTO Member to affirmatively authorize what would otherwise be considered acts of piracy, counterfeiting, or other forms of IPR infringement. Furthermore, to do so would undermine Antigua’s claimed intentions of becoming a leader in legitimate electronic commerce, and would severely discourage foreign investment in the Antiguan economy.

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what is the value of the judgment antigua has obtained? is the point the money or is it the judgment against the united states, or do we just brush such judgments off as a cost of doing business. where is the substance of the issue the wto calls unfair? why give the race tracks internet wagering but deny them slot machines. guess who gets the slot machines. tell me we’re not playing poker.

who’s move is next

1 Response to “WTO backs Antigua for $21 million annual in sanctions against USA”


  • The mode of implementation of the Arbitration award is really hazy. A large developed country such as India, Brazil or China could have made good use of a sanction of this kind but one is really forced to ask what can Antigua In the absence of a possibility of it becoming a base for export of pirated goods, courtesy strict rules of the WTO which remains applicable for other states Antiguan manufacturers can only sell them in the domestic market. The small size of the domestic market may ensure that for all practical purposes Antigua wasted five precious years fighting the USA which will probably get away with whatever it did. The question is for how longer?
    The only good thing is it builds up on a precedent set after the Equador case.

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