In the Gambling compensation negotiations, the U.S. and EU have apparently reached a deal:
The United States agreed on Monday to widen access to some of its services in compensation to the European Union for preventing betting businesses from offering on-line gambling in the US, the EU said here.
The compensatory measures will increase opportunities for EU companies in the fields of postal and courier services, storaging and warehousing, and in research and development.
More from the BBC:
The concessions, which relate to mail and storage services among others, will affect how Germany's DHL competes with US-based firms Fedex and UPS.
The proposed deal also includes new US market opportunities for European firms offering testing and analysis services, as well as in research and development.
As to the Article 22.6 arbitration, not surprisingly the ruling has been delayed.
ADDED: Here's a Bloomberg article from today on the dispute, with quotes from a few prominent trade lawyers.
MORE: Apparently the settlement was not just with the EU, but also Japan and Canada:
A spokeswoman for the US Trade Representative's office (USTR) confirmed an earlier report from a European official, and noted that Japan and Canada were also included in the agreement settling the World Trade Organization complaint.
"The agreement involves commitments to maintain our liberalized markets for warehousing services, technical testing services, research and development services and postal services relating to outbound international letters," said Gretchen Hamel, the USTR spokeswoman, in a statement.
"These commitments meet our WTO obligation ... to make a compensatory adjustment in our WTO services commitments."
Hamel said the deal allows for a 45-day period "in which the remaining claimants have a right to request arbitration. We will continue to discuss this matter with the other claimants to explain how our proposal is consistent with our WTO obligations."
That leaves Australia, Costa Rica, India, Macau (although this report says Australia settled, too), and, of course, Antigua, still to reach a deal.
AND: Global Trade Watch points out that Congress must OK all of this.
They also state: "After the gambling case showed how the WTO places major constraints on non-trade domestic policy space, ..." I'm not sure I agree with that. The key constraint in this case was not to discriminate against foreigners. That's not much of a constraint on domestic policy space, in my view.
SO WHAT do FedEx and UPS think of being the subject of the compensation:
A FedEx spokeswoman said it was unclear what the deal would mean to the Memphis-based courier. "We're looking into this now," said spokeswoman Sandra Munos. A call to Atlanta-based UPS was not immediately returned.
AND HOW much was the compensation worth? No one's talking:
In any case, the overall trade valuation of the package will fall far short of the US$100 billion that European online gaming sites had claimed the United States owed. EU officials could not immediately say how much the deal was worth.
"This compensation cannot be quantified up to the euro," the EU mission to the WTO said in an e-mailed statement. "Nonetheless, it is clear that new trade opportunities are created for EU service suppliers in important sectors in the U.S."
GLOBAL TRADE WATCH's Eyes on Trade blog is not happy about it:
What this could mean in practice is that there would be additional pressures to privatize and deregulate not only our postal service, but also our safety policy around dangerous LNG terminals. Oh, yeah, and this is just for the right to maintain a gambling policy that corporations don't like - a policy that treats foreign and domestic gambling firms THE SAME.
The pressure to privatize and deregulate the postal service, etc. sounds unlikely, but I don't know for sure what they have in mind; I do think they have their facts wrong about the "treating foreign and domestic gambling firms the same", though.
A BIT more from Reuters.
AND HERE is USTR's press release on the deal.