The United States has made its position known on who it wants to occupy the WTO DG position
The world power is not in support of Nigeria’s candidate, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, but is rather backing Yoo Myung-hee, Korean trade minister
Giving reasons for its decision, it described Myung-hee as someone with years experience as a successful trade negotiator
The explanation came in a statement by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on the WTO director-general selection process, released late Wednesday, October 28.
The USTR says it is backing Okonjo-Iweala’s main challenger, Yoo Myung-hee, trade minister of Korea, for the top position.
Part of the statement read:
“The United States supports the selection of Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee as the next WTO director-general.”
It noted that the WTO is in dire need of reform and must be “led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field”.
The U.S. believes Myung-hee is better suited for the job as “a bona fide trade expert who has distinguished herself during a 25-year career as a successful trade negotiator and trade policymaker.”
It noted that these were trying times for the WTO and international trade which are in dire need of good leadership.
According to the USTR, the Korean trade minister has all the skills necessary to be an effective leader of the organisation.
Though Nigeria’s candidate reportedly polled 104 votes from 164 member countries to defeat Myung-hee, the coast is still not clear following the US opposition.
Okonjo-Iweala is Nigeria’s former finance and foreign affairs minister and a well-respected economist. She is also an American citizen but reports have it that she is viewed by President Donald Trump’s administration as not committed enough to their interests.
The highly respected economist is on her way to becoming the first woman and African to seal the top job and Nigerians cannot wait for it as they have already started sending congratulatory messages.
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