Vice Squad
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
It's Official: Antigua Defeats US

The wheels of World Trade Organization justice turn rather slowly. After some four years and myriad reversals and dramatic double reversals, the WTO has adopted its March ruling that US rules on internet betting on horse racing are illegal. Recall (see the Vice Squad post from May 4, 2007) that the US response to the pre-official ruling was to unilaterally 'renegotiate' its trade obligations, claiming that the renegotiated version represented its intentions all along. So it needn't even provide compensation to its trading partners who are harmed by the altered treaty terms, the US argues. Sure, WTO rules require compensation when a country alters its obligations, but the US, you see, never really agreed to those silly old obligations anyway, so now that we've cleared that up we can all just forget about this little WTO ruling, OK?

"Brazil and India on Tuesday both said the United States was obliged by law to compensate Antigua if it wants to now redefine its services obligations." Antigua's WTO-endorsed threat, should it not receive satisfaction, includes disregarding US trademarks and copyrights.

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