Vengeance is sweet for Cargill Inc., which has secured a record-setting $77.3 million arbitration award in a case involving Mexican trade barriers on high-fructose corn syrup. The award was announced Friday by Cargill’s lawyers at Mayer Brown, although the 160-page arbitration panel ruling has not been made public.
Cargill and its rivals in the high-fructose corn syrup market filed for arbitration against Mexico after the passage of a 2001 law that imposed a 20 percent tax on soft-drink companies using high-fructose corn syrup, and established stringent requirements for the importation of corn syrup. The law’s intent, said lead Cargill lawyer Jeff Sarles of Mayer Brown, was to force Mexican soft-drink makers to use homegrown sugar rather than imported high-fructose corn syrup. Mexico’s restrictions on corn syrup were lifted in 2008, Sarles said, but the country still faced damages for the six years the law was in effect.
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