The United States has explained why it opposed the emergence of Okonjo-Iweala as the World Trade Organization’s Director-General
News Rain Nigeria gathered that in a statement by the office of the US Trade Representative, America cited lack of experience and procedural issues for its stance.
UPDATE: Why We Rejected Okonjo-Iweala’s Emergence As WTO Director-General –United States
The statement read: “The Office of the United States Trade Representative issued the following statement today on the selection of the next World Trade Organisation Director-General:
“The United States supports the selection of Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee as the next WTO Director-General. Minister Yoo is a bona fide trade expert who has distinguished herself during a 25-year career as a successful trade negotiator and trade policymaker. She has all the skills necessary to be an effective leader of the organization.
“This is a very difficult time for the WTO and international trade. There have been no multilateral tariff negotiations in 25 years, the dispute settlement system has gotten out of control, and too few members fulfill basic transparency obligations.
“The WTO is badly in need of major reform. It must be led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field.”
It will be recalled that despite securing the vote of 163 of the 164 members of the trade organization on Wednesday, Okonjo-Iweala could not be declared the head of the WTO because of the objection by the United States.
News Rain Nigeria earlier reported that there are indications that the Nigerian government may have started diplomatic actions to head-off opposition from the United States of America, USA, against the emergence of Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala for the job.
A source at the Ministry of Trade and Investment reportedly said yesterday that the government was taking steps to prevent the USA’s opposition from snowballing into an adverse swing in the support base for Nigeria’s nominee.
According to reports, a top trade ministry source said, “ the Ministry was aware of USA’s position long before now and we are not folding our hands”.
The source also added, “we are confident that most of the countries that have expressed support would not back out under pressure from the USA.”
The source however declined to give details of what the government was doing to ensure the support of the majority of the WTO Council members.