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UPDATE 1-Washington vows to be 'constructive partner' for new WTO chief

·1 min read

(Adds quotes)

GENEVA, Feb 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. delegate to the WorldTrade Organization on Monday welcomed the appointment of NgoziOkonjo-Iweala as director-general and said the United States wascounting on her to jumpstart efforts to reform and revitalizethe global trade body.

"Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has promised that under her leadershipit will not be business as usual for the WTO, and we are excitedand confident that she has the skills necessary to make good onthis promise," said Charge d’Affaires David Bisbee in remarkssent to Reuters by the U.S. diplomatic mission in Geneva.

Okonjo-Iweala was selected by consensus at a closed-doormeeting in Geneva on Monday after the administration of U.S.President Joe Biden reversed the decision of the Trumpadministration to block her appointment in favor of her SouthKorean rival.

Bisbee said Washington would work closely withOkonjo-Iweala: "The United States is committed to workingclosely with Director General Okonjo-Iweala and she can count onthe United States to be a constructive partner."

He said Okonjo-Iweala's knowledge and experience ineconomics, trade, and diplomacy would help move forward effortsto reform the WTO, promote equitable economic growth throughtrade, and meet current and future global challenges.(Reporting by Emma Farge and Andrea Shalal, Editing by SilkeKoltrowitz and Andrea Ricci)