The United States could soon suspend trade benefits for Argentina because of that country’s failure to pay awards in two long-running investment disputes with U.S. companies, a U.S. trade official said on Monday.
Argentina has never threatened to quit ICSID. Its government insists it is open to honouring the awards. The only delay, it says, is that the claimants have not brought their rulings to a local court for collection.
Azurix Corp plans to ask the Obama administration for help in recovering more than $230 million it says it is owned by the government of Argentina. It would be the first time a US company has used the "Section 301" trade law to pressure a foreign government to pay an award decided by an arbitrator in an investment dispute.
French media conglomerate Vivendi (VIV.FR) Tuesday said the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, or ICSID, reaffirmed its original ruling and financial award in favour of the company in a long-running dispute with Argentina.
A committee of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ruled in favour of Argentina and cancelled a decision by which it had been condemned to pay more than US$106 million to shareholding companies of the local Southern Gas Conveyor (TGS)
Marking a final setback for Argentina in its protracted dispute with US-based water services firm Azurix Corp, on 1 September 2009 an ad hoc committee denied Argentina’s application to annul an ICSID tribunal’s previous decision awarding Azurix approximately US$165 Million for breach of Argentina’s obligations under the US-Argentina Bilateral Investment Treaty.
Argentina has refused calls by Siemens to suspend proceedings at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in which a committee is considering Argentina’s request to revise a 2007 award, following the admission by the German firm that it had bribed Argentinean officials.
Facing a flood of unfavorable arbitration rulings, Argentina is shifting from a legal strategy to a diplomatic one in a bid to dismiss billions of dollars in foreign investor claims arising from its 2002 financial crisis.