|The current clash between the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United States over online gambling is to be the subject of a forum this week sponsored by the Centre for the New Europe, a leading Brussels-based public policy think tank with a special interest in free markets and open trade.|
According to analysts, the US could be liable for up to $100 billion in trade concessions, the largest in the history of the WTO, to European industries due to illegal trade restrictions placed by the US against European and other international gaming operators.
Those speaking at the forum are to include Stephen Pollard, the President for the Centre For New Europe, Nao Matsukata, a former Director of Policy for the Office Of The United States Trade Representative under the Bush administration, Lode Van Den Hende, a trade specialist at Herbert Smith that represents European gaming interests, and Dr Sallie James, a trade policy specialist at the Cato Institute, a major Washington, DC, think-tank.
'This is by far the most significant WTO case ever and its implications for both the US and the EU are enormous,' said Matsukata. 'This is also a watershed moment for the WTO because a major world power is thumbing its nose at the institution and disregarding its obligations.”
As a result of the case, the first time a WTO member nation has withdrawn any of its commitments, all 151 WTO members are allowed to seek compensation for the withdrawal equal to the size of the entire US land-based and online gaming market, estimated at nearly $100 billion. The EU, along with India and five other countries, has filed notice that it intends to seek compensation.