WTO DG: Path Clears for Okonjo-Iweala as South Korea Withdraws Candidate


South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee withdrew her bid to lead the World Trade Organization, leaving former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the only remaining candidate for the job.

Yoo made the decision after discussions with the U.S. and other major nations, and took various issues into account “comprehensively” including the need to revitalize the multilateral organization, according to a statement from Korea’s trade ministry on Friday.

The withdrawal comes after dozens of former U.S. government officials urged President Joe Biden to endorse Okonjo-Iweala after the Trump administration blocked her selection. The opposition halted the selection process because WTO decisions are made on the basis of a consensus of its members.

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The Nigerian economist, who is also a U.S. citizen, emerged as the front-runner for the WTO director-general post last year. The U.S. has been the only country to oppose her.

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