The emergence of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance, as the World Trade Organisation, WTO, Director-General, DG has come under threat from the United States government under Donald Trump's administration. This is despite the wide support she currently enjoys from most member nations including all the 27 EU governments.
According to a report published on Bloomberg, the United States of America, USA, made its position known by stating that it would not support the appointment of Okonjo-Iweala.
The Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Dennis Shea, purportedly said the U.S. could not support a consensus decision to appoint Okonjo-Iweala. Shea said the U.S. disagreed with the way in which the process was being carried out, according to sources.
Similarly, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has pushed for South Korea’s candidate, Yoo Myung-hee. Giving reasons, Lighthizer reportedly said he viewed Okonjo-Iweala as being too close to pro-trade internationalists in Washington like Robert Zoellick, a former USTR who worked with Okonjo-Iweala when he was President of the World Bank.
Recall that all 27 EU governments agreed on Monday in Brussels to support Okonjo-Iweala, over Yoo Myung-hee, of South Korea. Also, she was expected to be announced as the WTO DG on or before November 7.