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Why We Are Not Supporting Okonjo-Iweala-US Government




The US government has explained why it is going against the candidacy of Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

On Wednesday, October 28, the US government announced via its representative that it would not back Okonjo-Iweala.

A US representative on the WTO,  announced that the country would not support Okonjo-Iweala as a consensus candidate, as it still considered her opposition Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee a candidate.

The United States said it supported the selection of Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee as the next WTO Director-General because she is “a bona fide trade expert who has distinguished herself during a 25-year career as a successful trade negotiator and trade policymaker.”

A statement said the minister has all the skills necessary to be an effective leader of the organization.

“This is a very difficult time for the WTO and international trade.

“There have been no multilateral tariff negotiations in 25 years, the dispute settlement system has gotten out of control, and too few members fulfill basic transparency obligations,”/the statement said in part.

Although the US did not mention Okonjo-Iweala, it, however, said that “The WTO is badly in need of major reform. It must be led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field.”

Although Okonjo-Iweala won the overwhelming support of the World Trade Organisation’s 164 members, her ambition suffered a setback as the United States failed to endorse her for the top job.

The former Nigerian minister had moved a step closer to becoming the first woman and the first African to be a director of the global trade watchdog as she secured the support of a key group of trade ambassadors in Geneva.

However, the US raised last-minute objections halting the process by which the new Director-General is picked.

A spokesperson for the WTO on Wednesday said Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy would be put to a meeting of the body’s governing general council on November 9

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