Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala inherits a WTO in disarray

After months of deadlocks, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has named Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its seventh director general. Her historic appointment – she is both the first woman and first African to take on the top job – comes at a particularly tumultuous time for world trade, as the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked economic havoc, upending supply chains and disrupting demand for goods and services. But the challenges she has inherited as director general don’t end there. Upon taking office on March 1, she will need to tackle reform of the WTO dispute settlement system, an overhaul of its rulebook, and defuse tensions between member countries amid accusations of unfair advantages for large emerging economies such as China and India. In an illustration of the extent to which the WTO has become a battleground for competing national interests, Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment itself very nearly didn’t happen, after the United States refused to back her despite her having garnered the support of all of the other 163 WTO members. In an October statement, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) threw its support behind Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee instead, saying that the WTO “must be led by someone with… continue reading

Continue reading Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala inherits a WTO in disarray. This article appeared first on CTRM Center.

Source: CTRM Center

Related Posts

Leave a reply