|Not many nations would dare tackle the all powerful US after what they’ve been up to in the Middle East, but a couple of teeny islands have teemed up to take them on.|
The Caribbean islands, Antigua and Barbuda, aren’t happy with the looming US ban on foreign online gambling. Both islands have thrived on the industry, indeed they claim it is the hub of their economy. An all out ban would deprive them of the majority of their customers and cripple their business, potentially sending them into instant recession.
Working through the World Trade Organisation the islands have appealed for a ruling on what they claim is an affront to the rules of the open market for services. Sir Ronald Sanders the Caribbean state's ambassador claims the Internet gambling industry provides: 'much needed employment to thousands of our bright and computer literate young people.'
However the US refuses to acknowledge online gambling as a valid form of free trade. Instead the country insists that the Internet ban is enforced to protect its people from the social and financial ills of gambling. This from a country that has the city of Las Vegas. A place devoted to providing gambling services. Gambling in the US is a multi-billion dollar industry that even has state owned casinos use to generate public cash.
But the Americans don’t seem to realise the sheer hypocrisy of that. Or rather, they’re not admitting that they simply want to make sure they keep their own citizens putting their hard earned cash back into their own country. How decidedly patriotic. It’s nice to know that America can readily dictate what can be bought and sold, to whom, when and where. But that’s globalisation for you.
US envoy, Linnet Deily told the WTO’s dispute settlements body that: 'We are surprised that another WTO member has chosen to challenge measures taken to address these concerns.' It can take some time for the WTO to settle trade disputes, so America, not known for its diplomatic patience, will probably just invade the islands and turn them into a joint theme park.