US finally speaks on Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s bid as Next WTO Director

The US president, Joe Biden led administration on Friday, Feb 5, said it would support Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next director-general of the World Trade Organization.

This comes hours after South Korea’s trade minister stepped out of the race. Last year, Ms. Okonjo-Iweala was supported by a majority of WTO members, but the Trump administration backed Ms. Yoo, saying she was better qualified.

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement Friday: “Dr. Okonjo-Iweala brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister.”

The statement added: “She is widely respected for her effective leadership and has proven experience managing a large international organization with a diverse membership.”

The USTR added it “looks forward to working with a new WTO director-general to find paths forward to achieve necessary substantive and procedural reform of the WTO.”

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is set to be the first woman and the first African to run the Geneva-based trade body.

 

 

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