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Gambling With Trade Agreements
The US is taking a multi-billion dollar gamble that it can get away with violating its responsibilities under a key trade agreement. The World Trade Organization, the globe’s primary trade watchdog, found that US breached the agreement and then “failed to comply with the recommendations and rulings of the” Dispute Settlement Body.

The issue concerns the US refusal to permit international internet gambling even though it allows various types of domestic internet wagering including bets on horseracing.

Antigua and Barbuda, which hosts international gambling sites, said the US “should face commercial sanctions worth more than $3.4 billion each year....” Moreover, “two Asian countries and the European Union, which filed a similar request Tuesday, complain that the unprecedented legal move by the United States of deleting part of an agreed-upon treaty has to be accompanied by a commitment to open up other trade sectors.”

The government’s asymmetric policy of banning international internet wagering while allowing similar domestic gambling violates trade agreements and raises serious questions regarding its commitment to fair trade. The continued trade violations also threaten unrelated domestic industries that may be hit with trade sanctions not only from the Carribean but also from Europe and Asia.

See AP article

See WTO Report

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