Reuters | 20 December 2023
Canada pension fund Caisse, Mexico pause arbitration to seek energy resolution
MEXICO CITY, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Canadian pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and the Mexican economy ministry have temporarily suspended an international arbitration procedure to try to reach an agreement, the ministry said on Wednesday, putting the brakes on the latest clash over Mexico’s energy policies.
Caisse, which along with subsidiary CDP Groupe Infrastructures, had its complaints lodged last week with the World Bank’s dispute settlement body. It said the dispute related to "a renewable energy generation enterprise."
Caisse has investments in solar and wind parks in Mexico operated by power company Enel’s renewable energy arm.
A Caisse spokesperson declined to comment. Caisse is Canada’s No. 2 pensions manager, overseeing $318.37 billion in assets at the end of June.
The fund has previously met with Mexican officials to discuss concerns over its energy investments in the country. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in January he had resolved outstanding issues relating to Caisse and others.
However, concerns persist, and the arbitration case is the most recent tussle over Lopez Obrador’s energy policies that in 2022 culminated in the launch of dispute settlement proceedings by the United States and Canada against Mexico.
The president, a resource nationalist, has rolled back a 2013 liberalization of Mexico’s energy sector, prompting private companies to argue they are now at an unfair disadvantage to Mexican state oil company Pemex and national power utility CFE.
The U.S. and Canada launched their suit under the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal, and the U.S. could soon escalate the dispute, Reuters reported in September.
Reporting by Kylie Madry and Raul Cortes; Additional reporting by Maiya Keidan and Denny Thomas; Editing by Brendan O’Boyle, Leslie Adler and Sandra Maler