Washington vows to be 'constructive partner' for new WTO chief

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was selected as director-general by consensus at a closed-door meeting in Geneva on Feb 15. PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (REUTERS) - The US delegate to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Monday (Feb 15) welcomed the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as director-general and said the United States was counting on her to jumpstart efforts to reform and revitalise the global trade body.

"Dr Okonjo-Iweala has promised that under her leadership it will not be business as usual for the WTO, and we are excited and confident that she has the skills necessary to make good on this promise," said Charge d'Affaires David Bisbee in remarks sent to Reuters by the US diplomatic mission in Geneva.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala was selected by consensus at a closed-door meeting in Geneva on Monday after the administration of US President Joe Biden reversed the decision of the Trump administration to block her appointment in favour of her South Korean rival.

Mr Bisbee said Washington would work closely with Dr Okonjo-Iweala: "The United States is committed to working closely with Director General Okonjo-Iweala and she can count on the United States to be a constructive partner."

He said Dr Okonjo-Iweala's knowledge and experience in economics, trade, and diplomacy would help move forward efforts to reform the WTO, promote equitable economic growth through trade, and meet current and future global challenges.

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