Coast Clear For Okonjo-Iweala As South Korea Withdraws Candidate

South Korea has decided to withdraw its candidate Yoo Myung-hee from the race for World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General (DG).

Coast Clear For Okonjo-Iweala As South Korea Withdraws Candidate
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

South Korea's candidate for the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Yoo Myung-Hee has announced she will withdraw from the race, clearing the path for Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who the General Council announced late last year as the consensus candidate.

The World Trade Organization’s General Council Chair David Walker announced in October last year that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had garnered the most support among WTO members to become the next global trade chief, but was vetoed by the United States.

Korea's Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee announced on February 5 (local time) that she would withdraw her candidacy for the next World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General. Korea will continue to work with responsibility for the restoration of the multilateral trading system, according to Washington Trade Daily.

NOI, as she is fondly called, will be the first female and first African to head the WTO if affirmed by its 164 members.

YooMyunghee1's withdrawal does not mean NOIweala immediately becomes the WTO's next Director-General.

That appointment is taken in a formal decision by the WTO's 164 members.

Since the U.S. is the only WTO member blocking Iweala's candidacy the key question now is whether the Biden administration will reverse the Trump administration's veto and support Iweala.

Absent opposition from any WTO members, the chairman of the WTO general council, David Walker, can announce the resumption of the WTO's suspended October general council meeting to consider the appointment of a new Director-General.