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Global Trade-Chief Race Slows as U.S., EU Split on Finalists

  • Brussels favors Nigerian, Washington prefers the South Korean
  • Election in two weeks is a wild card in setting U.S.’s agenda
Updated on

The U.S. and Europe are heading for a clash over their preferred candidates to lead the World Trade Organization as the selection of the first woman to run the referee of global commerce enters a pivotal phase.

The European Union is inclined to support Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and may sign off on that position by early next week, people familiar with the process said. Other observers say the Trump administration is leaning toward South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee. Meanwhile, China’s preference and those of other major economies like Brazil and India remain unclear.