Cabinet to Intensify Negotiations over US WTO Settlement

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be intensifying its Negotiations with the United States as discussions continue on a recent proposal put forward by US Officials on the controversial WTO Settlement.

This comes after the Cabinet voiced disappointment with the offer by the US in the negotiations.

However, the Government’s Chief of Staff says that there is an indication that the USA is willing to make another concession that would greatly enhance the settlement offer.

The Cabinet instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to continue to intensify the negotiations and to report on any progress made.

Hurst also says that as a part of negotiations, the possibility is being discussed of having visa issuance being done on island so that citizens would not have to travel to the Embassy in Barbados to secure a Visa.

This says the Chief of Staff says had enhanced the offer laid on the table by the US and serious consideration is being given to the fresh indications coming from the US Trade Representative Office, as it is in the best interest of both parties to resolve the issue.

The dispute dates back to 2003 when authorities in the US applied measures which effectively shut down the lucrative online betting industry in the twin island state.

In 2007, the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation ruled that the twin island state is entitled to receive US $21 annually from the United States as compensation and allowed Antigua and Barbuda to disregard US intellectual property rights. However, that sum  has never been paid.

News Reporter

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