Mexico hit by trade arbitration proceedings from Canadian, US firms

Reuters | 23 July 2023

Mexico hit by trade arbitration proceedings from Canadian, US firms

MEXICO CITY, July 22 (Reuters) - Mexico has been hit with three sets of trade arbitration proceedings in the past few days, according to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

First Majestic Silver and Silver Bull Resources, both Canadian companies, as well as U.S. food firm Arbor Confections have filed cases against Mexico, ICSID said in brief statements issued between Thursday and Friday.

The proceedings all invoked the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) which replaced NAFTA. The statements did not set out what sort of redress the companies were seeking.

In June, Silver Bull said it would likely soon be filing a request for arbitration against Mexico over its Sierra Mojada project on a claim worth at least $178 million.

Arbitration magazine CIAR Global said the Arbor Confections claim relates to a leasing contract for an industrial warehouse in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. The firm could not immediately be reached for comment.

In 2021, First Majestic said it had started arbitration proceedings against Mexico following a tax dispute. It was not clear if and how the latest filing related to that issue. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has sought to tighten state control of natural resources and the energy market, sparking trade disputes with the United States and Canada over the energy sector and corn.

Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Paul Simao

source: Reuters