There are worries for Okonjo Iweala as the US wants the race for the World Trade Organisation ( WTO ), Director General, reopened. The US once again talked down the Nigerian candidacy following Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer’s commentary that an experienced handler is needed for the high profile job. Lighthizer, who was speaking to BBC in an interview, opined that the job is for “someone with real experience in trade, not someone from the World Bank or a development person.”
Lighthizer maintained that there was no way the Trump administration will back the Nigerian candidacy in its remaining week in office. Speaking further, he stated that the WTO is “massively in need of reform.”
Okonjo had originally gotten the supports of 110 out of 164 members in the comity of nations, but the US had opposed her candidacy. Because the trade organization operate based on consensus that if one country opposes, a final decision cannot be made, the WTO postponed the general council meeting to consider the appointment of a new DG till further notice.
Although US President-elect, Joe Biden, is yet to confirm his preference, there are speculations that he might not be against the candidacy of the Nigerian following his recent statement on the trade: “We need to be aligned with the other democracies …so that we can set the rules of the road instead of having China and others dictate outcomes.”