Opinion: 5 Reasons Why President Trump won’t Support Okonjo-Iweala as Next WTO Director General – Blessing Mene

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Opinion: 5 Reasons Why President Trump won't Support Okonjo-Iweala as Next WTO Director General - Blessing Mene

This is an opinion article by Blessing Mene.

People who want Okonjo-Iweala to become the next WTO Director-General mostly are excited about the prospect of the first female & African to lead the WTO. But President Trump doesn’t think that way, here are five secret reasons why President Trump won’t support Okonjo-Iweala:
1. He thinks from the perspective of Nationalism and his biggest interest is to have a WTO leader who will stand up to China and other countries leveraging loopholes in the WTO to supposedly “take advantage” of America. Look at how Trump is reshaping to the US Supreme Court and Federal Courts.
2. President Trump’s a radical conservative who is currently looking to end the influence of liberals and globalism. That’s why he got elected in the first place. He doesn’t believe in development aid, except the recipient is giving back something substantial to the US e.g. Honduras and co, accepting to process Asylum applications before people pass through Mexico to the USA. Okonjo-Iweala is a development economist and that rings a red flag to the current US Administration.
3. It is likely that a Trump win will affect who the next WTO leader will be. Trump wants to have someone who will fight for the interest of the US and his policies and bring about the much needed change he desires. The administration is vocal about this. Although, there is no evidence that Madam Okonjo-Iweala wouldn’t bring that change. So why does she seem like a threat in the path of President Trump’s aspiration? First, she is a Board member of Twitter (accused of censoring conservative voices on its platform), she seems mostly aligned to liberal ideologies/democrats, and she is loved by almost every other country (making her a perceived icon of globalism). For Trump, this may signal another season of loss for US trade issues at the WTO. President Trump wants to sieze this moment of opportunity.
4. Whether we like it or not, and whether there is evidence or not, President Trump seems to believe the idea that China deliberately allowed the spread of Covid-19 to the USA in other to strategically affect his reelection chances. If Trump wins the November election, it is likely that his administration will seek to retaliate and punish China through “trade wars” and “military dominance”. But he most likely wouldn’t go this  route since he wants to win the Nobel Peace prize. Therefore it is likely he would try to tip the scales of WTO policies, processes and laws so as to make it hard for China and other countries to intelligently or “unfairly” beat the US via trade. He already reversed North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). I believe President Trump’s looking to do something radical through a new WTO leader.
5. South Korea is a very close ally of the US, and President Trump would rather have Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee as the next WTO Director-General. This strengthens his negotiating power and skews decision making in favor of the US. It is very likely that President Trump’s administration will not be able to push around Okonjo-Iweala. She is a strong woman, a development economist, and will likely oppose being used as a tool against other WTO members who made her candidature possible.
Personally, I’m excited about Okonjo-Iweala and what she represents to our nation, intellectuals and well-meaning leaders. Her new leadership position is expected to affect Africa’s economy in a positive way like we have never witnessed before. As an African, I want her to be the next WTO Director General. Her leadership will signal a new season of prosperity for Africa. Yet som questions remain to be answered and I invite Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to address them here or via a video interview:
1. Considering globalism and it’s sometimes crippling impact on developing countries. What specific changes and new trade policies do you plan to initiate and implement so as to unleash a season of prosperity in developing countries?
2. The world is becoming more tensed as China and US continues to oppose each other, and it is likely that you will be required to support one country’s perspective on issues per time. So that both parties and 160+ members are aware. Please share with the public three WTO principles, policies or programs that you will never compromise on?
3. Assuming you completed your service as WTO DG and today was your last day in office. What would you point to as your greatest legacy?
Blessing Mene

Co-founder of Inspire Africa for Global Impact Initiative and CEO of Vetsark

Blessing Mene is the Co-founder of Inspire Africa for Global Impact Initiative and CEO of Vetsark.
Follow on Twitter at @blesssingmene_

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