US tries to block Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as first African WTO head

Ms Okonjo-Iweala said she was "immensely humbled" to be nominated.
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The appointment of Nigeria's ex-finance minister to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been thrown into doubt after the US opposed the move.

On Wednesday, a WTO nominations committee recommended the group's 164 members appoint Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

She would be the first woman and first African to lead the WTO.

But the US, critical of the WTO's handling of global trade, wants another woman, South Korea's Yoo Myung-hee, saying she could reform the body.

Ms Okonjo-Iweala said she was "immensely humbled" to be nominated.

But the four-month selection process to find the next WTO director-general hit a road block when Washington said it would continue to back South Korea's trade minister.

In a statement critical of the WTO, the Office of the US Trade Representative, which advises President Donald Trump on trade policy, said the organisation "must be led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field."

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