Contrary to what was earlier believed of former Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of being elected as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the United States vetoed her eventual emergency refusing to join the earlier consensus.

Okonjo-Iweala according to sources on Wednesday afternoon, polled 104 votes from 164 member countries to defeat her South Korea’s trade minister opponent, at the final stage of the race.

However, the deputy U.S. Trade Representative Dennis Shea said Washington will not join a consensus to appoint Okonjo-Iweala because the U.S. supports her opponent, South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee, according to WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell.

“I’m surprised and disappointed in the U.S. reaction,” said William Reinsch, a trade official in the Clinton administration and senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I had hoped Lighthizer would have more respect for the institution than that.”

WTO decisions are made by a consensus of its 164 members, which means a single country — especially the world’s largest economy — can create a stalemate to pressure others. The Geneva-based institution will keep working to reach a consensus ahead of a meeting of the General Council tentatively set for Nov. 9, Bloomberg reports.

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