President Donald Trump is opposed to the emergence of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, WTO, despite polling 104 votes from 164 member countries on Wednesday to defeat South Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee.
Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Dennis Shea said Washington won’t join a consensus to appoint Okonjo-Iweala because the U.S. supports her opponent, South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee, according to WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had pushed for Yoo even though Okonjo-Iweala gained American citizenship in 2019.
According to Bloomberg, preparatory to the WTO General Council “tentatively set for Nov. 9” during which a final decision will be made, the WTO reached a consensus decision to appoint Okonjo-Iweala as its DG.
However, “the Trump administration said it won’t back the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be the WTO’s next director-general,” and “will act as a veto that disrupts” her consensus nomination, according to Bloomberg.
Recall that Mrs Okonjo-Iweala was billed for an announcement as the new WTO director-general on Wednesday, but the heads of delegation failed to reach a consensus after meeting by 3pm.
“We look forward to the confirmation of Dr.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment as DG-WTO by WTO Members at the Special General Council Meeting scheduled for 9th, November,” Sunday Ogwuche, an official in the Office of Nigerian Representative to WTO expressed hope.
Ogwuche, on his verified Facebook page, said “today the WTO Troika presents Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria as the candidate with the overwhelming support in the last round of the DG-WTO Selection process and the candidate most likely to gain consensus as DG-WTO.”