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  1. #1
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    Default Antigua's Cort optimistic about settlement

    Antigua's Minister of Financa Errol Cort says he is optimistic about the chances of a settlement with the US in the WTO trade dispute over Internet gambling.

    “Clearly we were able to further discuss components for possible settlements and while we have not reached a point where I could say there is a settlement, I would say I feel that we are closer to a settlement than we were when we met first on 18 Jan.,” Dr. Cort told the Antigua Sun last week, after meeting with US Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Susan Schwab.



    The finance minister said he could not disclose the terms being discussed, but said he is hopeful the parties will be able to thrash out the terms of a settlement before 6 June, the date that the World Trade Organization (WTO) activities has been deferred for settlement talks.


    “I am hoping that between now and then we would be able to arrive at some understanding in terms of the components of the settlement, failing which, if there is a situation in which we need to extend the time to give further opportunity to conclude settlement talks, then the parties would not be averse to so doing,” he added.
    Full story here ... http://www.antiguasun.com/paper/?as=...62008&ac=Local

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    Default Update ... Mendel not so optimistic

    According to the International Herald Tribune, Antigua's attorney, Mark Mendel, isn't so optimistic about a settlement being reached by Friday.

    "I don't think there is any chance of an agreement by (Friday)," Mendel said. "But the government may decide to continue its negotiating efforts in hopes that some progress is forthcoming."

    Mendel said Antigua "is trying hard to get the U.S. to understand that finding common ground makes sense."

    Antigua and Barbuda's top finance official on Tuesday made a more conciliatory statement, saying that some recent talks with U.S. trade officials have been productive and could pave the way toward resolution of the gambling dispute.

    "I am very encouraged that there are at least components of a possible settlement agreement. Having said that though, we have not yet reached a position where I can say that the issue has been settled," Finance Minister Errol Cort said.
    Full story here ... http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/...t-Gambling.php

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