Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala becomes the first African woman to lead the WTO

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was named to lead the World Trade Organisation on Monday, becoming the first woman and the first African to play a part in the controversy over how the agency decides disputes affecting billions of revenue and thousands of workers. Okonjo-Iweala, 66, was named Director-General by members of the 164 countries that make up the WTO, which deals with the terms of trade between nations.

She said that her first goal will be to urgently resolve the economic and health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and to “implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again.”

she said in a statement that her organization faces a great many challenges but they are working together. they can collectively make the WTO stronger, more flexible, and better adapted to the realities of today.

The appointment was made after the U.S. President Joe Biden welcomed her nomination, which former President Donald Trump had blocked.

Biden’s move was a step toward his intention of promoting more cooperative approaches to foreign affairs after Trump’s “America first” policy, which caused numerous trade conflicts.

But unblocking appointments is just a start in coping with the trade conflicts that Trump initiated, and in addressing US questions about the WTO that date to the Obama administration. The U.S. blocked the appointment of new judges to the appeals body of the WTO, effectively freezing its power to settle lengthy and nuanced trade conflicts.

The United States government claimed that the trade organization is slow-moving and bureaucratic, ill-equipped to solve the challenges raised by China’s state-dominated economy, and unduly restrictive of U.S. efforts to enforce restrictions on countries that illegally subsidize their industries or sell at unusually low rates.

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