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News Summary: Mexican, Brazilian lead WTO race

The Associated Press

LATIN AMERICAN HEAD: The field for the World Trade Organization's next director-general has narrowed to Mexico's former trade minister Herminio Blanco and Brazilian diplomat Roberto Azevedo. The second four-year term of Director-General Pascal Lamy of France expires on Aug. 31.

WTO IN TURMOIL: Whoever is selected will take on an organization that is at a crossroads. While it will remain an important institution for helping settle disputes and monitoring policy, the rise of regional trade organizations has created doubts about the future of the WTO's role as a multilateral forum for negotiations.

NEW LEADERSHIP: Fast-growing developing nations are looking to take on bigger roles in major global financial and trade decisions, primarily within institutions like the WTO and International Monetary Fund.