A Stronger World Trade Organization Is Good for America

Brazilian Ambassador Roberto Azevedo, the upcoming U.N. World Trade Organization (WTO) director-general, holds a press conference in Brasilia, on May 17, 2013 Photograph by Evaristo Sa/AFP via Getty Images

Over the past few weeks, much has been made about the transatlantic trade pact President Obama proposed in his State of the Union address, as well as the announcement that Japan will join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the U.S. hopes to wrap up this year. Largely overlooked, however, was another development in the area of trade: the leadership contest for the post of the World Trade Organization’s director general. The winning candidate, Brazil’s Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo, managed to secure the closed-door consensus that passes for a selection procedure with milquetoast statements designed to offend no one.

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