WTO set to skip naming acting chief after U.S. push caused deadlock
WASHINGTON/GENEVA (Reuters) - 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 U.S. candidate caused a deadlock
WASHINGTON/GENEVA (Reuters) - 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 U.S. candidate caused a deadlock.
Under the new proposal, instead of appointing one of four deputies to serve as interim chief until Azevedo's replacement is chosen later this year, those officials, from the United States, China, Germany and Nigeria, would keep their current responsibilities.
"The U.S. 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. A new, permanent director-general is due to be named on by Nov. 7.
The WTO has been under acute pressure and unable to resolve disputes because of criticism from President Donald Trump's U.S. administration.
No comment was immediately available from the U.S. Trade Representative's office in Washington, or from a WTO spokesman.
Some members say the say the controversy over the caretaker role, an administrative job described as a WTO official as "making sure the trains run on time", bodes ill for the choice of director-general, which members must make by consensus.
"It's just a figurehead role. If we can't even decide on the interim, how will we choose a DG?" said one delegate.
However, others following the process saw the absence of on an interim leader as a good thing as it could put pressure on WTO members to move forward on selecting a successor for Azevedo, who is the first chief in WTO history to leave early.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Emma Farge; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's executive on Friday wrapped up preliminary talks with French drugmaker Sanofi aimed at securing its COVID-19 vaccine for the 27-country EU bloc, the latest deal with vaccine producers. Armed with an emergency fund of more than 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), the European Commission wants to strike deals with up to six drugmakers for their vaccines for their 450 million citizens against the coronavirus that has killed 674,000 people worldwide
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending increased for a second straight month in June, setting up consumption for a rebound in the third quarter, though the recovery could be limited by a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and the end of expanded unemployment benefits.
By Steve Holland and Daphne Psaledakis WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States intensified its economic pressure on China's Xinjiang province on Friday, imposing sanctions on a powerful Chinese company and two officials for what it said were human rights abuses against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities. The move, the latest blow to U.S.-China relations, came a week after U.S