UPDATE 1-Cargill settles NAFTA dispute with Mexico
By Nate Raymond
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 on 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.
The terms of the settlement, reached on 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 welcomed the resolution of the matter.
"We are dedicated to compliance with NAFTA and believe NAFTA is a positive force for trade relations among the United States, Canada and Mexico," she said, adding that the company will continue to invest in its Mexican operations.
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 Cargill $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 that, 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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