US blocking selection of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be next head of WTO

Sources say it is unclear if move is attempt to sabotage trade body much criticised by Trump

The US is blocking the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next head of the World Trade Organisation despite the former Nigerian finance minister winning the overwhelming backing of the WTO’s 164 members, it has emerged.

Ngozi had moved a step closer to becoming the first woman and the first African to be director of the global trade watchdog after securing the support of a key group of trade ambassadors in Geneva. Soundings taken by a selection panel of three WTO trade ministers found Okonjo-Iweala had far more support than her South Korean rival, Yoo Myung-hee.

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