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Biden ends deadlock over next WTO head

THE Biden administration has ended the impasse over the next Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) by expressing its “strong support” for Nigeria’s ex-finance minister.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was frontrunner for the role until the Trump administration last October wanted another woman, South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

Yoo has now withdrawn her candidacy.

If confirmed in the role, Dr Okonjo-Iweala would be the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala on Friday praised her rival and said, “there is vital work ahead to do together.”

President Donald Trump, describing the WTO as “horrible” and biased towards China, wanted Yoo, South Korea’s trade minister for the post

Yoo on Friday said her decision to withdraw her candidacy was made in “close consultation” with the US. “South Korea will actively contribute to reaching consensus for the next WTO chief and co-operate with her and participate in the WTO reform process, she added/”

The White House said the “US stands ready to engage in the next phase of the WTO process for reaching a consensus decision on the WTO Director General”.