Maybe The US Can Ignore Antigua, But EU Is Another Story

from the high-stakes dept

Antigua can complain all it wants about the US blocking its online gambling industry, but its threats are dulled by the fact that Antigua doesn't represent a major trading partner. So, other than setting up some sort of allofmp3.com-style music site, there's not much it can do to retaliate. But now the EU is jumping into the fray, complaining that the US' move to block online gambling sites contravenes WTO agreements. And unlike Antigua, the EU does have serious retaliatory weapons at its disposal because it's such an important trading partner. Unfortunately for online gambling enthusiasts, the EU isn't trying to get the ban overturned, but it's exploring how it can be compensated for lost business. Most likely, it will seek to slap certain US goods with high tariffs. An economist would say that retaliatory trade barriers don't make any sense and that they essentially amount to cutting off one's nose to spite their face. However, that's never stopped countries from engaging in this practice in the past. Given that the WTO is likely to side with the EU on this question (as it has with Antigua), it would appear that the US will have to pay a price for its stance.

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  1. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 21 Jun 2007 @ 6:45am

    Its all about money...

    The US government is cracking down so hard on online gambling because they can't control it (i.e. take the lion's share of profit) like lotteries, horse racing, and Las Vegas/Atlantic City. Plain and simple so ifs ands or buts about it. Gambling taxes are pure profit so why would they want to let such a big source of income go unchecked?

    I'd really like to see what the US government would do if Antigua setup an allofmp3.com like site. Simple. The recording industry would persuade (i.e. pay) the US to go after Antigua. Isn't it amazing how the US has been going after other nations because "free trade" agreements (basically a copyright conformity crusade) but repeatedly ignores the fact that the WTO sided with Atigua?

    Not to sound negative but with actions like this I don't see the US lasting beyond a few more centuries. The government is up to the highest bidder, they try to tell other nations what to do, and spend millions in money and thousands (thats not just counting current events in the Middle East) in lives to secure democracy, all while its own citizens are starving on the streets ever day.

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