[Ip-health] Tangential - Antigua And Barbuda WTO Gaming Negotiation Team Convenes High Level Meeting In Washington
Riaz K Tayob
riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Thu Nov 14 12:38:42 PST 2013
[tangential but.... cross retaliation on TRIPs... ]
Antigua And Barbuda WTO Gaming Negotiation Team Convenes High Level
Meeting In Washington
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Antigua & Barbuda, November 13, 2013 -- Antigua & Barbuda’s WTO Gaming
Negotiation Team is slated to convene a meeting with the Office of the
United States Trade Representatives (USTR) on 14th November 2013 in
Washington, DC. This meeting is aimed at resolving the long standing WTO
cross-border supply of gaming services dispute between Antigua & Barbuda
and the United States.
The Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, The Hon. Winston B. Spencer has
expounded publically that resolving this issue in a fair, reasonable and
positive manner is a top priority of his Government. Antigua & Barbuda’s
Negotiating Team from capital comprises of Ambassador Colin Murdoch,
Permanent Secretary (Trade, Industry & Commerce), Mrs. Kaye McDonald,
Director of Offshore Gaming (FSRC) and Ms. Joy-Marie King (Trade,
Industry & Commerce).
The capital based officials will join Her Excellency Dame Deborah-Mae
Lovell (Ambassador to the USA & Permanent Representative to the OAS),
Mrs. Joydee Davis Lake (First Secretary Washington Mission) and Mrs.
Ann-Marie Layne-Campbell (Consul General Toronto Mission) along with the
nation’s legal counsel in the WTO matter Mr. Mark Mendel.
The United States breached commitments it made to WTO members under the
General Agreement on Trade in Services (the “GATS”) by maintaining and
enforcing laws which act to prevent foreign-based operators--including
those based in Antigua and Barbuda--from offering gambling and betting
services on a cross-border basis to consumers located in the United States.
The WTO ruled back in 2004 that these laws contravened the obligations
of the United States under the GATS and directed the Americans to bring
their laws into compliance with their GATS obligations. The initial
ruling was upheld on appeals and despite occasional claims of
compliance, the United States remains in violation of international law.
Sustained attempts by the Antiguan government to negotiate a reasonable
and balanced settlement have not been effective, as the United States
has failed to engage with Antigua and Barbuda to date in any meaningful way.
Recourse to the suspension of concessions and other obligations in
respect of US intellectual property rights was first awarded by the WTO
in late 2007 and confirmed in January 2013. The suspension of these
rights is a remedy conferred by the WTO agreements as a means to
encourage members to comply with rulings against them.
In light of the final ruling, Antigua & Barbuda has undertaken steps to
exercise the rights stipulated by the DSB verdict with the formation of
its WTO Remedies Implementation Committee which is tasked with designing
an instrument to carry out the suspension of intellectual property
rights of United States companies.
The committee is chaired by the Attorney General Hon. Justin Simon QC
and includes Permanent Secretary in the Department of Trade, Industry
and Commerce, Ambassador Colin Murdoch; Magistrate and Deputy Registrar
of Intellectual Property, Conliffe Clarke; Legislative Drafter in the
Department of Legal Affairs, Ayesha Baisden; Deputy Financial Secretary
in the Department of Finance, John Edwards; Mr. Daryl Jackson,
Information Technology Consultant within the Ministry of Information and
Ms. Joy-Marie King (Trade, Industry & Commerce) along with legal
counsel, Mr. Mark Mendel.
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