#WTO-DG: Okonjo-Iweala Suggested As New WTO Chief, But US Vetoes

US says it will continue to back South Korean candidate. 

The World Trade Organization’s General Council Chair David Walker said Wednesday that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had garnered the most support among WTO members to become the next global trade chief, a WTO spokesperson said. 

The United States said, however, it could not support the candidacy of Okonjo-Iweala and said it would continue to back the South Korean candidate Yoo Myung-hee.

Walker and his colleagues have finished a long process of consultations, where each member could indicate their preference. Walker told WTO ambassadors Wednesday that Okonjo-Iweala, and not Yoo, was most likely to secure a consensus among the membership, which is needed to select the next chief of the global trade organization. 

However, the suggestion of Walker and his colleagues is not the final step of the process as some members can veto their suggestion, which the U.S. now threatened to do.

WTO members must formally decide in their General Council meeting who becomes the next director general. This meeting will happen on November 9. Before then, there will be consultations.

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