Cargill settles NAFTA dispute with Mexico

NEW YORK Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:57pm EST

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NEW YORK Feb 21 (Reuters) - Cargill Inc has reached a settlement with Mexico in a dispute that resulted in a $77 million arbitration award for the U.S. agribusiness company, according to court documents filed Thursday.

A North American Free Trade Agreement arbitration tribunal awarded Cargill the sum in 2009 over trade barriers the company said Mexico erected against high-fructose corn syrup from 2002 to 2007.

Terms of the settlement, reached Feb. 5, were not disclosed. The settlement was detailed in papers filed in U.S. District Court in New York, where Cargill had filed a lawsuit to enforce the arbitration award.

A spokeswoman for Cargill had no immediate comment. A representative for Mexico's Economy Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Cargill filed its claims against Mexico in 2005 under Chapter 11 of NAFTA, which allows companies to sue countries that are members of the treaty for actions that affect their investments.

In 2009, the tribunal awarded Mexico $77.3 million plus interest and costs. In May 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada, the country where the original NAFTA panel was held, let the award stand.

Cargill in November filed the federal lawsuit in New York to enforce the award. It said with interest the award was now worth $94.6 million.

The case is Cargill, Incorporated v. United Mexican States, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 12-08225.

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