USA: Why We Are Against Okonjo-Iweal’s Election as WTO Director General
The United States explained why it is opposed to the election of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In a statement released Wednesday by the US trade mission, the world power said the WTO is in dire need of reform and should be “led by someone with real hands-on experience.”
“The United States supports the election of Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung Hee as the next WTO Director General,” said the US Trade Representative led by Robert Lighthizer (pictured above).
“Minister Yu is a conscientious trade expert who, over 25 years of his career, has established himself as a successful negotiator and responsible for trade policy. He has all the skills needed to be an effective leader in an organization.
“This is a very difficult time for the WTO and international trade. In 25 years, there has been no multilateral tariff negotiation, the dispute resolution system has gotten out of hand, and too few members comply with basic transparency obligations.
“The WTO is in dire need of serious reforms. It should be led by someone with real hands-on experience in this area. “
OKONJO-IWEALA: I’M A TRADING EXPERT
The argument against Okonjo-Iweal has always been that he has no experience in direct trading. But, speaking at the WTO in July, the former Nigerian finance minister denied the request.
“I am a development economist and you cannot do this without looking at trade. Trade is central to development. So I did it. Throughout my career at the World Bank, I have worked at the bank on trade policy reform in low- and middle-income countries, ”he said.
“As the finance minister of my country’s customs department told me. And it’s about trade facilitation. I helped my country to negotiate with my Minister of Commerce on common external ECOWAS tariffs. I don’t know how many more exchanges you can have besides this one.
“So those who say that I have no trade are wrong. I think the qualities that I have are even better because I combine development economics with knowledge of trade as well as finance, and this combination of skills is essential for the leadership of the WTO. I think I have the necessary skills. I’m professional. “
Okonjo-Iweala won a popular vote on Wednesday to become the next CEO, and gave a nod to three ambassadors in charge of electing the next trade organization leader.
But at a meeting of WTO delegates to discuss the nomination, the United States expressed opposition to his election: the United States was the only country that opposed his election.
Keith Rockwell, a WTO spokesman, said only one member country did not support Okonjo-Iweala.
“All but one of the delegations that expressed their views today expressed strong support for the outcome,” he said.
The WTO meets again on November 9, 2020, following the US elections, to decide who will be the next CEO.
Source: – Cable