Sitll continues the negotiations between Antigua and USJuly 20, 2008, 11:27 am (10 years ago)
Six members of American negotiating team of Deputy US Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador John Veroneau, apparently did not succeed in reaching a quick resolution,comments from Antigua Finance Minister Dr. Errol Cort as the week closed.
The Minister notified the Antigua Sun that regardless of preparations for the US delegation to come back to America on Tuesday, finding the middle ground with the US government on Internet gaming can rationally be predicted to continue for a additional two to three months, even with the much shorter schedule being set for argument.
The latest deadlines set by Antigua and Barbuda and the US for the wrapping-up of their negotiation for a resolution on the gaming matter will be August 1st, after two days of meetings between teams from the two nations.
The meetings were not able to come to an agreement, and for that reason World Trade Organization lawful measures will be additionally postponed to August 1 by mutual agreement.
Dr. Cort notified the Sun that the short deadlines have been submit an application to negotiating periods in order to keep the topics active and useful, but it doesn’t mean that the issue was a easy one that could be solved in short time. He said that when talks are continuing with the USTR’s office, several other US government agencies are concerned, additionally making it difficult to bring on the negotiations procedure.
“I am not saying for one second that on August 1st, 2008 the parties would have signed off on an agreement. I want to avoid the misunderstanding and misconstrued that we set these deadlines and we are breaking these deadlines. The deadlines are really set to keep the parties at the negotiating table, but they are not set thinking that on the particular date these issues will be resolved,” he said.
He also said that whenever if it’s necessary, either party can turn their back from the negotiations and go back to the WTO adjudication procedure.
“If you ask me logically how much longer I think it would take to really reach some agreement that could be signed off on both sides, to fully fill out and solve the issues on the table… I would say that period would be perhaps over the next two to three months or so, if I had to put some time frame on it. It’s possible that it will happen faster depending on how fast certain inter-agency discussions could take place and some sort of consensus be reached, but basically and rationally, having regard to how governments function…. I would say realistically we would need perhaps a two to three month time frame to really conclude one way or the other,” Cort opined.
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