US-Antigua Gambling Dispute Highlights Defect in the WTO Dispute Settlement System (IQsensato)

“The dispute between the United States (US) and Antigua and Barbuda has already made GATT/WTO history. Antigua challenged various US measures relating to gambling and betting services arguing that they were inconsistent with the US obligations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). This was the first dispute arising under the GATS to reach the Appellate Body. It was also the first time that the GATT/WTO has adjudicated on the public morals defence, namely, whether a member can justify imposition of trade restrictions on the basis of the protection of public morals in its territory. Additionally, the case has resulted in a rare withdrawal of commitments under the GATS as the US decided to modify its GATS Schedule to exclude gambling and betting from its market access commitments. This is a classic David versus Goliath case…”

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