The U.S government has backed Nigeria’s former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, shortly after her rival South Korea’s trade minister pulled out of the race.
In a report credited to Wall Street Journal, the endorsement from the Joe Biden Administration was the last obstacle standing in the way of the highly revered Nigerian economist.
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala has already been approved by the majority of WTO members, but the Trump Presidency had earlier preferred Ms. Yoo, saying she was a better fit for the job.
In a statement, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said that Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala “brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister.
“It is particularly important to underscore that two highly qualified women made it to the final round of consideration for the position of WTO Director-General—the first time that any woman has made it to this stage in the history of the institution.”
Such endorsement from the Joe Biden administration on Okonjo-Iweala’s candidature has been seen by many economic pundits as a welcome shift in the United States support for the multilateral trading system following four years of an aggressive attitude against an organization that former President Trump previously called the worst trade deal America ever signed.
The Top African Union Covid-19 Representative acknowledge the amazing endorsement via her Twitter handle saying,
“Grateful for the expression of support from the US today for DG. Congratulations to Madam Yoo of Rep. Korea for a hard-fought campaign.Thank You.President Muhammadu Buhari & all Nigerians for your unflinching support. Thank you, friends. Love to my family.Glory to God.”
Grateful for the expression of support from the US today for DG @WTO. Congratulations to Madam Yoo of Rep. Korea for a hard fought campaign.Thank You President Muhammadu Buhari @MBuhari &all Nigerians for your unflinching support.Thank you friends. Love to my family.Glory to God.
— Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (@NOIweala) February 5, 2021
- Recall, a group of ambassadors also known as “troika” proposed Okonjo-Iweala to lead the WTO giving her a clear path to becoming the first woman to head the WTO since it started 25 years ago. The three ambassadors are thought to wield significant powers in determining what is a very “intricate and opaque” process.
- The announcement of Okonjo-Iweala had earlier gotten the support of a vast majority of member states, including the EU, Japan, and China, as the new boss of the World Trade Organization, would have been a huge boost for Africa.