A quick comment on the article that appeared in the Caribbean 360 post. The on-line gambling trade dispute, which the United States lost in the WTO forum, is one of the few cases of continued lack of compliance by the United States (other major one is the zeroing practice in the antidumping duty calculation by the Department of Commerce). What makes the case interesting, and it is not mentioned in the article, is that this case is the testing ground for WTO permission in granting sanctions that would legalize intellectual property rights (IPR) violation (in a form of reciprocal sanctions). Imposing trade barriers, in the case of Antigua, will not more harm to Antigua than the United States. Therefore, the traditional remedy or reciprocal sanctions normally granted by WTO (e.g. raising the tariff for selected goods), will not work in the case of Antigua. The Antigua knows that, and petitions hard for WTO approval of IPR violations. Of course, the United States has traditionally been very proactive in the IPR enforcement, and legalization of IPR violations would set a troubling precedent for the current world’s hegemon. How this show plays out remains to be seen. For the official dispute settlement drama, visit the WTO’s dedicated page.
Published July 8, 2010 by Yuri Starikov