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WTO: I Was Surprised Trump Opposed My Candidacy – Okonjo-Iweala

Former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, noted that she is surprised that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed her candidacy in leading the World Trade Organisation.

Okonjo-Iweala who emerged as the new Director-General of WTO on Monday noted during a press briefing that she did not see the action of the former US president coming.

She further stated that she felt she had a good understanding with the US government, which interviewed her about the job twice.

“I think I was quite surprised when that came (opposition from Trump) because there was no indication that there was any problem with the US.”

“I had two good interviews with the authorities and with the administration, so it was a surprise. But that’s the way life works. When things happen, you take them in your stride and you move on.”

“It was wonderful when the Biden/Harris administration broke that logjam. They joined the consensus and gave such a strong endorsement to my candidacy. They joined the other 163 members to endorse my candidacy.”

The United States government had last week announced its endorsement of Mrs Okonjo-Iweala for the top job.

In a related development, the new DG of WTO wrote on her Twitter that it is done and thanked all WTO members for choosing her, but warned those concerned that it won’t be business as usual as she is ready to tackle the challenges of WTO.

She wrote: “It is done! Thank you, @WTO members, for finalizing my election today and making history. In the 73 years of GATT and WTO, honoured to be First Woman and First African to lead. But now the real work begins. Ready to tackle the challenges of WTO. Forget Business as usual!”

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