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WTO Chair: US Election Delays Okonjo-Iweala’s Appointment

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By Jonathan Asikason

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s dream of making history as the first woman and African to preside over the affairs of the World Trade Organization(WTO) is being put on hold by the United States’ post election ramifications.

United States had earlier vetoed the
recommendation for Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s onward appointment as the WTO chair despite garnering supports from the majority of the member-states. The country believed that “Ms Yoo[the South Korean contender] “has all the skills necessary to be an effective leader” of xaWTO.

Sensing change of leadership, WTO, slated a meeting after US election to consider the country’s stance. But President Trump’s insistence on contesting the result of the election made the Geneva based organization to postpone the appointment of its Director-General indefinitely.

However, trade experts believe that with Joe Biden on the reins that Okonjo-Iweala will possibly receive the blessings of White House. Presumably, WTO will wait till 20th January, when a new administration will take off, to determine its new leader.

This delay in selecting a new WTO chair comes at a fragile moment for the world economy amid the second wave of Covid-19, and after years of criticism of the WTO and calls for reform from President Trump.

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