WTO postpones naming new Director-General
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has canceled the announcement of its new Director-General
meeting following the U.S. presidential election.
The Geneva-based agency, which serves as an international arbiter for trade disputes, confirmed it had
postponed a meeting scheduled for Monday that had been called to name Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
for the role.
The WTO wrote in a statement: “For reasons including the health situation and current events, delegations will
not be in a position to take a formal decision on 9 November.”
The Trump administration was against her selection, despite the former finance minister winning massive
support amongst the WTO’s 164 members.
“Okonjo-Iweala had moved a step closer to becoming the first woman and the first African to be director of the
global trade watchdog after securing backing from the EU, China, Japan, and Australia. Liam Fox, the leading
Brexiter and former international trade secretary, had run as the UK government’s preferred candidate but failed
to win enough support from other countries to reach the last two in the process,” reported The Guardian.
Analysts have commented that Joe Biden’s victory over Trump last week may have prompted some member
states to seek a delay in the WTO race, to ensure the Biden White House’s support for Okonjo-Iweala.
She has previously served two terms as Nigeria’s finance minister and has also been her country’s foreign
minister. She’s also been the number two at the World Bank.