WTO Ruling - What does it really mean?


Dormant account
Feb 6, 2002
I guess everyone's seen the news on Antigua's ruling with the case they filed against the US with the World Trade Organization. I'm certain that the US will be filing an immediate appeal on this issue, but even at that it is still positive news.

The one thing that stuck out on the claim to me was the issue that the posture of the US caused such a significant loss of revenues to Antigua. I could see this way back in the days of the black box controversy, when some of their biggest operators flat out told them they were pulling out of the country if nothing was done on that matter. However, my personal feeling is that most of the direct economic impact suffered by Antigua was due to the cost of their license fee, the salary ranges of employees in Antigua, and the fact that business costs like offices and telecommunications are more expensive there than in other locations. Most of the people who left seemed to do so more for practical business decisions and not so much anything to do with the US, as those issues didn't change for them once they moved to a new country.

Anyway, I am just curious as to if anyone thinks this will have any real impact at all. Even if we assume that the US exhausts all appeals and the WTO still rules against them, they are not likely to change anything at all (Ashcroft will not anyway). There was an issue with Canada I was reading up on not too long ago. They had filed a complaint against us with the WTO in reference to unfair tarriffs placed on the soft-wood lumber industry, that directly violated our trade agreements with them. Even after all of the rulings, not one damn thing has changed on that subject, which makes me wonder what happens next. What if the WTO makes a specific ruling and the US ignores it? Where does the enforcement come in?
jerryg said:
What if the WTO makes a specific ruling and the US ignores it? Where does the enforcement come in?
Well, Antigua could launch an attack on the US and install an online gambling friendly government in Washington. :) In reality, the most Antigua can do is to impose tariffs on US goods and services.

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