WTO Row Intensifies


RIP Brian
Feb 22, 2001

Antiguans lodge official protest at premature US activity

The Antigua Sun reports that a new row has broken out between the United States and Antigua, still locked in a bitter World Trade Organisation dispute over online gambling.

The Antiguans have lodged a fresh complaint with the WTO, claiming that US officials have prematurely leaked advantageous parts of a preliminary WTO report that was supposed to remain confidential.

Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Finance and the Economy Dr. Errol Cort announced this week that his government had lodged a complaint with the WTO over leaks from U.S. officials on what was intended to be a confidential preliminary report.

The final report of the World Trade Organisation's Dispute Settlement Body on the Internet gambling quarrel between Antigua & Barbuda and the United States is due to be released later this week.

The WTO had specifically said to all parties that no party should say anything in respect of the matter. Unfortunately the U.S. has gone and they have said a lot of things and we have protested," Dr. Cort said.

"Weve written to the WTO that while all parities were asked to remain confidential in terms of the interim report, we have kept our side, but the U.S. has not, he said.

Dr. Cort revealed that the WTO has since reiterated its request to both parties that the report remain confidential until it is published.

He said that he expects to issue a full statement on the final WTO report and its impact on the local gaming industry once it is made public.
I don't get it. The report is done, but not released? What is the advantage of the US prematurely releasing some of it's findings?

Why don't the Antiguans just shut up if they don't want the report discussed yet?
It probably has to do with the professional integrity of adhering to agreements on the release of any findings.

This is usually done to ensure that both sides to the dispute have equal opportunities to discuss the release on the agreed release date....not before.

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