“I Was Surprised Trump Blocked My WTO Job” – Okonjo-Iweala

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A Nigerian economist who yesterday named as the Director General of the World Trade , Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has broken her silence ex- president ’s decision not to support her candidature.

The Nigeria’s Finance Minister, said she surprised that the administration of President could stand her way of leading the World Trade (WTO).

At a press briefing, the new Director-General of WTO said she did not see it coming.

She said she felt she had a good understanding the government which interviewed her about the job twice.

“I think I quite surprised when that came (opposition from Trump) because there no indication that there any problem the .

“I had two good interviews the authorities and the administration so it was a surprise. But that’s the way life works. When things happen, you take them your stride and you move on.

“It was absolutely wonderful when the Biden/Harris administration broke that logjam. They joined the consensus and gave such a strong endorsement to my candidacy. They joined the other 163 members to endorse my candidacy,” she said.

The United government had last week announced its endorsement of Mrs Okonjo-Iweala for the top job.

It became clear earlier on Friday that Okonjo-Iweala, a World executive, would clinch the coveted post after her final challenger, South Korean Trade Minister and candidate, Yoo Myung-hee, announced her withdrawal.

Although 163 member countries had elected Okonjo-Iweala October, the US under Trump was critical of WTO’s handling of global trade, saying South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee could reform the body.

The four-month selection process for the next WTO director-general hit a road block when Washington said it would continue to back South Korea’s trade minister.

The US had said WTO “must be led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field”.

“Ms Yoo has distinguished herself as a trade expert and has all the skills to be an effective of the .

“This is a very difficult for the WTO and international trade. There have been no multilateral tariff negotiations in 25 years, the settlement system has gotten out of control, and too few members fulfill basic transparency obligations. The WTO is badly in of major reform,” said the office of US Trade Representative, which advises Trump.