Metalclad Corp., the first U.S. company to file a claim for damages against Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement, says its case is in limbo for a few weeks because the Mexican government has obtained an extension of its deadline to file a response.
The Newport Beach hazardous materials handling firm is seeking $90 million in damages from Mexico for alleged illegal expropriation of a waste disposal facility the company built in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi in 1995.
Grant Kessler, Metalclad's president, said Mexico's response--initially scheduled to be filed last week--now is due near the end of February. After that, the three-member arbitration panel has two weeks to ask for more information, schedule a formal hearing or inform Metalclad and Mexican authorities that it will decide the case based on the thousands of pages of documents already submitted.
Kessler, whose company has eight other projects in Mexico, said he expects a final ruling by late summer.