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OECS Calls for US to Comply with WTO Panel Ruling

OECS Calls for US to Comply with WTO Panel Ruling

OECS Media Release

Friday, December 16, 2022  — During a meeting today of the World Trade Organization (WTO) General Council, its highest decision-making body, the representative of the OECS Member States of the WTO called for the United States to comply with the ruling of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) in the case on the cross-border supply of gambling and betting services brought by Antigua and Barbuda as complainant.

The WTO General Council was conducting the fifteenth US Trade Policy Review, under which WTO member states reviewed reports by the US and the WTO Secretariat on US trade policy, and a record number of speakers took the floor to comment on the reports and to pose questions to the US delegation.

The OECS ambassador at the WTO and head of the OECS mission in Geneva, HE Colin Murdoch, took the US to task for its failure to reach a final settlement with Antigua and Barbuda in the case DS 285 which has been outstanding for many years. While acknowledging the generally positive economic relationship between the US and OECS member states and the role played by the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) under which OECS members are eligible for duty-free access to the US market for a wide range of goods, Ambassador Murdoch urged the US to fully comply with the ruling of the WTO Appellate Body.

Ambassador Murdoch noted that while the majority of OECS Members States, which are members of the WTO, are also beneficiaries under the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis are not eligible due to their high per capita income classification. Murdoch pointed out that GDP per capita income criteria do not provide an accurate picture of a country’s economy or its development status. He stated that OECS countries, at the highest level, continue to advocate on this issue at various international fora.

The sessions of the WTO General Council continue on Monday, December 19, 2022.

Joel Richards Senior Technical Specialist - Trade, Permanent Delegation of the OECS in Geneva, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States



International Relations Geneva Mission
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia