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Why we oppose Okonjo-Iweala — US

The United States has explained that the reason it moved against the election of former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-general of the World Trade Organisation, WTO, was the fact that the UN agency was in dire need of reform which must be driven by ‘’someone with real, hands-on experience.’’

In a statement issued by the office of the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, on Wednesday, the US government said:  “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.”

The argument against Okonjo-Iweala had always been that she has no direct trade experience.

But addressing the WTO in July, the former minister of finance said, while refuting the claim: “I am a development economist and you cannot do that without looking at trade. Trade is a central part of development.

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