WTO members pick new director

A Brazilian diplomat with a history of leading his country’s fight against farm subsidy programs in the United States and Europe will be the new World Trade Organization director general.

Roberto Carvalho de Azevedo, Brazil’s 55-year-old ambassador to the WTO, also led a successful challenge against Canadian aerospace subsidies.

He was selected the new WTO director general last week after weeks of informal consultations among the organization’s 159 members about who among the nine nominated candidates should win.

The WTO general assembly is confirming the selection this week.

Azevedo won because he was considered to have the broadest support from the developed and developing countries and the various blocs within the organization.

His term begins in September.

The Canadian government did not reveal its preferred candidate, but trade minister Ed Fast quickly laid down the Canadian markers for what the new WTO director general should make as his priorities: fight protectionism and re-establish WTO credibility.

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