The long feud between of Antigua and Barbuda and the United States continues, with the Caribbean country involving top-dog DC public relations firm to help its cause.
In a letter distributed among the American gambling news sources, Antigua Finance Minister Harold Lovell said “his government is commitment to take a more aggressive stance with the US in general; and the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) in particular.”
Lowell went on saying: “We have agreed on a definitive strategy to leverage the intellectual property sanctions awarded to us by the WTO some years ago to bring increasing pressure on the American government to comply with WTO rulings or at least conclude a settlement with Antigua and Barbuda that will provide substantial value to the remote gaming industry and our economy to compensate all of us for the illegal U.S. actions.”
The current American gambling laws forbid the payment to foreign sites from the USA, making Antigua online casinos’ operation almost impossible.
The island country hired elite Washington communications and PR firm LEVICK. The agency is known for representing complex, politically sensitive cases and trade involving the US Government.
The main goal of the public relations campaign is to force the US to resolve the dispute favorably to the Antiguan position. They want to recruit powerful allies in the USA to advocate for resolution.
Should the talks not come to an agreement, Antigua plans to implement sanctions against US targets such as the motion picture and recording industries as well as software companies.
Antigua counts US companies whose products and intellectual property could be targeted by Antiguan trade sanctions as possible allies. They also hope to win the hearts of free trade and intellectual property could advocates and supporters of online casinos in United States such as the American Gaming Association and the National Indian Gaming Association.
LEVICK will be charging the Carribbean country $40,000 a month plus another $10,000 in expense, totaling about $600,000. This money could turn out to be a good investment for Antigua if the WTO case is moved in their favor.