By Peter Ungphakorn
POSTED OCTOBER 28, 2020 | UPDATED FEBRUARY 15, 2021
On February 15, 2021, Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was confirmed as the World Trade Organization’s next director-general. The decision was by a consensus of the WTO’s membership. See Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the new WTO chief, but let’s not get carried away.
This was made possible 10 days earlier when the new Biden administration in the US announced its “strong support” for her, ending three months of deadlock.
By then, South Korean candidate Yoo Myung-hee withdrew her candidacy. By overturning the stance of the Trump administration and its US Trade Representative, Robert LIghthizer, Biden paved the way for Okonjo-Iweala to be selected by the necessary consensus.
What follows was written before the deadlock was broken.