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WTO set to skip naming acting chief after US push caused deadlock

NEWS
By Reuters | July 30th 2020

World Trade Organization members are likely to refrain from appointing an interim director general to succeed Roberto Azevedo when he steps down at the end of August, two sources following the process said on Wednesday, after Washington’s insistence on a US candidate caused a deadlock.

Under the new proposal, instead of appointing one of four deputy directors to serve as interim chief until Azevedo’s replacement is appointed later this year, those officials from the United States, China, Germany and Nigeria would continue their current responsibilities.

“The US is insisting on an American, but China and Europe put the brakes on that,” said a former WTO official familiar with the current process.

A decision to finalise the interim arrangement could come as early as this week when WTO members are expected to meet.

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