Antigua and Barbuda—a nation of 70,000 in an area roughly half the size of San Francisco—has formally requested that the WTO allow it to suspend its intellectual property obligations to the United States, AP reports.
Although many in the US have mocked tiny Antigua'a case against the US with a shrug of the shoulders, the Antiguans have always carried in their pockets a nuclear option of sorts. Most Americans view trade disputes through the prism of tit-for-tat protectionist schemes. A perceived price subsidy leads to retaliatory tariffs, etc; but the obligations imposed by WTO obligations run deeper than that.
And little Antigua is not the only country feeling the pinch. The UK, which has possibly the most well-regulated gambling market in the world—at the very least among the major economies—has sat back and watched as the DOJ has repeatedly arrested UK businessmen and executives.
The idea that other countries will put up with this abuse indefinitely may finally have run its course. Once one country chooses to revise its definitions of its own commitments, as the US claims it will do, other impacted countries may do the same. The only question now is whether the major American trading partners—Europe, Japan, and China—join the party.
Is it unpatriotic to say that I'm rooting for the other guys in all of this?