Petitioners Tenaris S.A. ("Tenaris") and Talta-Trading E Marketing Sociedade Unipessoal LDA ("Talta") move this Court to enter a default judgment confirming a 2016 arbitral award issued in their favor against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. After Petitioners filed their motion, Venezuela entered an appearance in the case. The Court therefore declines to hold Venezuela in default but, for the following reasons, will grant in part and deny in part the petition to recognize and enforce the award.
Tenaris and Talta are Luxembourg and Portuguese companies, respectively, that hold interests in the steel industry. Tenaris S.A. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB/11/26, Award, ¶¶ 1, 4 (Jan. 29, 2016), ECF No. 1-3. In the early 2000s, Petitioners invested in a Venezuelan company, Materiales Siderúrgicos Masisi S.A, that made a product used in the production of steel. Id. ¶¶ 7, 11. On April 30, 2008, Venezuela expropriated Petitioner's investment without compensation. Id. ¶¶ 5-7. Following that expropriation, Petitioners filed a Request for Arbitration against Venezuela with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ("ICSID"), alleging that the country's actions violated the bilateral investment treaties between Luxembourg and Venezuela and Portugal and Venezuela. Id. ¶¶ 7, 11.
On January 29, 2016, the ICSID arbitral tribunal asserted jurisdiction over the dispute and found that Venezuela had unlawfully expropriated Petitioners' investment in violation of the bilateral investment treaties. Tenaris S.A. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB/11/26, Award ("Award Part II"), ¶ 625 (Jan. 29, 2016), ECF No. 1-4. The tribunal awarded Petitioners: $87,300,000 USD as compensation for the unlawful expropriation; $85,501,213.70 USD in pre-award interest from April 30, 2008 until the date of the award; $225,000 USD to compensate Petitioners for funds advanced to ICSID to cover Venezuela's share of the costs of the arbitration; and post-award interest in the amount of 9% per annum, compounded every six months. Id. ¶¶ 624-25.
On March 14, 2016, Venezuela filed a request for rectification with the arbitral tribunal, claiming that the tribunal had erred by awarding duplicative damages. Tenaris S.A. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB/11/26, Rectification Decision, ¶ 2 (June 24, 2016), ECF No. 14-3. That rectification request was rejected on June 24, 2016. Id. ¶ 114.
Additionally, on May 31, 2016, Venezuela filed a separate application for annulment of the award with ICSID, which it renewed on September 21, 2016, after the rectification request was denied. Tenaris S.A. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB/11/26, Annulment Decision, ¶ 4 (Aug. 8, 2018), ECF No. 14-4. The application for annulment was rejected on August 8, 2018. Id. ¶ 282. The ICSID proceedings are therefore concluded and the arbitral award is final.
Petitioners filed this action, which seeks recognition of the arbitral tribunal's award pursuant to 22 U.S.C. § 1650a and Article 54 of the ICSID Convention, on June 8, 2018. Petitioners effected service pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1608(a)(4) on July 26, 2019. After Venezuela failed to respond to the lawsuit, Petitioners requested that the Clerk of the Court issue an entry of default, which she did on October 30, 2019. Petitioners then moved for a default judgment.