Last year, I published a piece titled, Small States and Compliance Bargaining in the WTO: An analysis of the Antigua-US Gambling Services Case. The article highlights the ability of a small Caribbean country, Antigua and Barbuda (referred to as Antigua), to successfully challenge U.S. gambling laws that discriminate against foreign gambling service providers. Additionally, the article explains why such a small country was so successful in its case before the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The piece resulted in invitations to give talks at different universities and to a variety of audiences. Each talk would end with my argument that although the WTO ruled in Antigua’s favor in 2007, the gains were limited because the United States still has yet to comply with the ruling. As a result, the WTO requires stronger enforcement mechanisms to be truly effective for all member states.
According to the news bulletin Caribbean 360, there may be an end in sight to the U.S.-Antigua gambling services dispute. Following recent private talks with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Antiguan Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer said:
I think we were able to use the opportunity of this meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden to bring our case more sharply into focus with the US administration to gain momentum for a final settlement.
If the United States and Antigua are able to reach an effective compromise, then it will be a true gain for Antigua. It will also mean that my closing remarks at future talks about this WTO dispute settlement case will be amended to show that a “win” for a small country goes beyond receiving a favorable ruling in a case toward also enforcing that ruling so that a large country actually fulfills its WTO commitments. (For details of the case, click here.)
You can learn more about my published research on this and other trade-related topics at the Published Work page.
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