Saturday, August 16, 2008

US Blows Off Online Gambling Trade Meetings with the EU

As noted awhile back, the EU was planning to hold trade meetings with the United States regarding their regulation of the online gambling industry. Because the EU feels that the United States' regulations are discriminatory and in direct violation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) treaty, the EU feels that it is important for them to get a chance to sit down with US representatives and discuss why the situation is being handled as it is.

These discussions were scheduled to take place at the beginning of August. However, the US recently announced a postponement of the scheduled meetings with representatives of the EU to discuss these online gambling issues and the stance of the current US administration on the issues (which, it should be emphasized once again, that from the EU's point of view are not in compliance with the WTO treaty).

The postponement of these talks came with very little notice from the United States. As you may remember from the previous post on this topic, the last time that the EU tried to have discussions with the United States, they prepared a lengthy report to justify how they were feeling about the situation. However, the US simply replied with nothing more than a two page document that they disagreed with the EU.

In addition to the EU, there are several other organizations that are becoming increasingly unhappy with the USTR (United States Trade Representative) about their stance on the issue of online gambling. Not only did they fail to make any progress with Antigua and Barbuda (both central locations for online gambling operations), but they also haven't released the specific terms of their previous agreements with the EU for Congress to review.