The United States has at last backed Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the Director General position at the World Trade Organisation, WTO.
This followed the stepping down of South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee from the contest on Friday.
The US had blocked Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy for the DG WTO job back in October after all member countries endorsed her candidacy.
The US backed Yoo for the job because Okonjo-Iweala was supported for the job by China.
A statement from the Office of the US Trade Representative on Friday said “The United States takes note of today’s decision by the Republic of Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee to withdraw her candidacy for Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The statement said the The Biden-Harris Administration was pleased to express its strong support for the candidacy of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the WTO.
It added that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister.
“She is widely respected for her effective leadership and has proven experience managing a large international organization with a diverse membership,” the statement said.
Yoo, South Korean Trade Minister, in a statement on Friday said she had been in consultation with major countries such as the US over the consensus vote to become the next DG of WTO.
According to her, “In order to promote the functions of WTO and in consideration of various factors, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy.”
She said South Korea would continue to contribute in various ways to strengthen the restoration of the multilateral trading system as a responsible trading powerhouse.