The United States has eventually backed a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to lead
the World Trade Organisation after several months of delay of the selection process.
President Joe Biden’s administration on Friday offered its “strong support” to Okonjo-Iweala, citing her
“wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and
two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister.”
The move marks another sharp split with former President Donald Trump who paralyzed the organisation
and opposed Okonjo-Iweala who was backed by many other countries
The development came after Okonjo-Iweala’s only remaining contender and South Korea’s Trade Minister,
Yoo Myung-hee, on Friday withdrew her candidacy for the position.
The US’ decision to back Okonjo-Iweala was contained in a statement on Friday on the website
of the US Trade Representative titled, ‘Office of the United States Trade Representative Statement
on the Director General of the World Trade Organisation.’
The statement read, “The United States takes note of today’s decision by the Republic of Korea’s Trade Minister
Yoo Myung-hee to withdraw her candidacy for Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
“The Biden-Harris Administration is pleased to express its strong support for the candidacy of
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the WTO. Dr 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.