The United States has explained why it opposed the emergence of former Nigerian Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

Despite securing the vote of 163 of the 164 members of the trade organisation on Wednesday, Okonjo-Iweala could not be declared the head of the WTO because of the objection by the United States.

Ex-Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

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In a statement by the office of the US Trade Representative, America cited lack of experience and procedural issues for its stance.

The statement reads, “The Office of the United States Trade Representative issued the following statement today on the selection of the next World Trade Organisation Director-General:

“The United States supports the selection of Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee as the next WTO Director-General. Minister Yoo is a bona fide trade expert who has distinguished herself during a 25-year career as a successful trade negotiator and trade policy maker.  She 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 WTO is badly in need of major reform.  It must be led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field.”

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