|After years of negotiation and dispute with the United States over online gambling issues, Antigua and Barbuda has been awarded only $21 million a year in annual trade sanctions by a World Trade Organisation (WTO) arbitration panel.|
The two trading nations had been locked in a dispute over discriminatory practices that excluded Antigua from the lucrative American online gambling market. The island nation successfully fought the US to a standstill with WTO rulings going against the United States. This led the White House to withdraw its gambling obligations from international trade treaties rather than modify protectionist and discriminatory practices on online gambling.
The WTO awarded Antigua the right to target US services, copyrights and trademarks to a value of $21 million a year, which many argue is too low as it is unlikely to prove worrisome to the vast American economy.
The decision is a setback for Antigua, which argued that it should have been compensated to the tune of $3.4 billion in annual lost revenues. Washington acknowledged that its online gambling restrictions were ruled illegal by the WTO but argued that Antigua should only be compensated for about $500,000.