The World Trade Organization (WTO) will be holding a hearing today in Geneva, Switzerland. The WTO is hoping to work out a compensation deal for the nations that have filed claims against the US for lost revenues due to the UIGEA. Government representatives from the US, Antigua and Barbuda will go before a panel to raise questions and state their cases of what they think is fair compensation.
The US has withdrawn from treaty obligations concerning internet gambling and issued statements that the 3.4 billion in lost earnings claimed by Antigua is "exorbitant and wildly out of line with any realistic figure." The US counter offered what it thought was reasonable compensation in the amount of $500,000. Antigua claims they can back up the 3.4 billion figure since it was decided on after much research by financial experts
Following the hearing, deliberations are expected to begin, with the panel deciding what they consider to be a fair monetary sum for the US to pay. The WTO Dispute Settlement Body has ruled against the US already, but Washington has so far refused to comply.
Antigua's Minister of Finance Errol Cort had this to say about the hearing; "I must say that I wanted to await the outcome, the opening session for the panel that has been set up to hear our further dispute at the WTO on Thursday. So, I am still hopeful that we will meet when I get to Washington but I am awaiting initially the first impressions from our representatives in Geneva at the end of the first day of the hearing of the tribunal on Thursday."
The question now is what figure will the panel arrive at, and if the US will still refuse to pay up.