The Office of the United States Trade Representative, in a written statement today, “strongly backed the candidacy of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.”
Earlier today, the South Korea’s candidate for the Director-General post of the World Trade Organisation (WTO-DG), Yoo Myung-Hee announced she was withdrawing from the race, clearing the path for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala whom the General Council announced in October 2020 as the consensus candidate.
The WTO-DG selection process commenced in July 2020 following the untimely resignation of Brazilian Robert Azevedo, a year before the expiration of his tenure.
It had gone through screening processes culminating in its consideration for the final two pick: Myung-Hee and Okonjo-Iweala.
No fewer than 100 countries backed Nigeria’s former Finance Minister.
The WTO has 164 registered countries as members.
The United States, under the Trump administration, had favoured Yoo, complicating the decision-making process since the selection of a new leader requires all WTO members to agree.
Reports of the Korean’s seeming withdrawal first came up in November 2020 after Trump’s election loss.