Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has recounted her experience after former president Donald Trump administration blocked her selection as the new director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Okonjo-Iweala, in her recount, said she was surprised to learn that the US administration led by Donald Trump blocked her selection as WTO DG.
Speaking at her first press briefing as the incoming WTO DG, Okonjo-Iweala said she had two interviews with the Trump admin and there was no indication of opposition.
She said: “I think I was quite surprised when that came at the decision-making meeting because there had been no indication previously that there was any problem with the US.
“I had had two very good interviews with the authorities in the administration. So it was a surprise. But you know, that is the way life works and when things happen, you take them in your strides and move on.”
The new WTO DG had garnered the support of 162 countries out of the total 164 states that make up the WTO. But at the decision-making meeting, the US said the WTO is in dire need of reform and must be “led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field.”
Despite the world, power putting its weight behind South Korea’s Yoo Mhung-Hee, whom it referred to as a bona fide trade expert and the former US president administration antagonism, the former minister of finance in Nigeria eventually got the nod from the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris administration.
She said: “It was absolutely wonderful when the Biden-Harris administration came in and broke that logjam, joined the consensus, and gave me such a strong endorsement.”