For those of you following the WTO gambling case, we finally have a price tag on how much the U.S. gambling market is worth to Antigua: $3.4 billion! As predicted, Antigua's hitting us where it'll ostensibly hurt the most (sorry Hollywood). Announced in a Congress Daily article today (not linkable):
In a filing made today with the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body, the island nation said it wants the ability to override copyrights, trademarks and patents to copy products to which U.S. entities hold the exclusive rights. According to an attorney involved in the case, that could include the ability to offer "authorized, expropriated" digital copies of movies and software for sale at cut-rate prices over the Internet. A press release from the government of Antigua and Barbuda said the move "could have significant implications for American intellectual property rights and represents a material escalation in the stakes at play in the gambling case."
Adding insult to injury, the European Union and India also filed papers at the WTO on Monday, requesting compensation from the United States for also being locked out of the gambling industry. While no numbers have been released, Antigua has set a pretty high bar, and now the U.S. has three months to come up with a deal that will satisfy the EU and India, according to today's BNA article (also not linkable, sorry). On top of that, Antigua's attorney, Mark Mendel, says he expects other countries to follow suit including Brazil, China, and perhaps Japan and Canada. But USTR is adamant that it owes no one nothin':
The United States has already said it does not believe claims for compensation are justified since no WTO Member could have reasonably thought that the United States was agreeing to commitments in direct conflict with its own laws.
If that's the case, perhaps the U.S. should also think about "clarifying" all our commitments in other service sectors we've signed up to the GATS that go against our domestic laws.