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Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, says she was surprised that the administration of President Donald Trump could stand in her way of leading the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
At a press briefing monitored by Daily Trust, the new Director-General of WTO said she did not see it coming.
She said she felt she had a good understanding with the US government which interviewed her about the job twice.
“I think I was quite surprised when that came (opposition from Trump) because there was no indication that there was any problem with the US.
“I had two good interviews with the authorities and with the administration so it was a surprise. But that’s the way life works. When things happen, you take them in your stride and you move on.
“It was absolutely wonderful when the Biden/Harris administration broke that logjam. They joined the consensus and gave such a strong endorsement to my candidacy. They joined the other 163 members to endorse my candidacy,” she said.
The United States government had last week announced its endorsement of Mrs Okonjo-Iweala for the top job.
It became clear earlier on Friday that Okonjo-Iweala, a former World Bank executive, would clinch the coveted post after her final challenger, South Korean Trade Minister and candidate, Yoo Myung-hee, announced her withdrawal.