The World Trade Organisation has postponed a meeting where members are expected to pick a new Director-General after the United States blocked the favoured candidate, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The WTO earlier announced that the meeting would hold next week.

But a communication seen by AFP showed that the meeting has been postponed indefinitely.

“It has come to my attention that for reasons including the health situation and current events, delegations will not be in a position to take a formal decision on 9 November,” the head of the selection committee told member states.

“I am therefore postponing this meeting until further notice during which period I will continue to undertake consultations with delegations,” he added.

The PUNCH had reports that the United States opposed Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the consensus candidate to lead the WTO.

The US said it is supporting South Korean trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee, to become the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation because she is a “trade expert”.

However, the European Union and WTO’s ambassadors backed Okonjo-Iweala for the position.

US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, while giving reasons for opposing Okonjo-Iweala, who gained American citizenship in 2019, said WTO needs “someone with real, hands-on experience in the field”.

Source – Punch