Daily Management Review

EU Trade Commissioner Hogan Could Put Himself Up As Candidate Of WTO Chief


EU Trade Commissioner Hogan Could Put Himself Up As Candidate Of WTO Chief
The spokesperson of Phil Hogan, trade commissioner of the European Union, has said that Hogan wants to put himself up as a candidate for the post of director-general of the World Trade Organization.
The incumbent director-general of the WTO Roberto Azevedo has said he would step down a year early which meant that the WTO post will become vacant at the end of August.
However the task of the next director-general will not be easy because of the challenge of the intensifying U.S.-China trade tensions as well as the and rising protectionism in many countries that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Other major tasks of the new WTO chief will include pushing for the talks to limit overfishing and the setting up of new rules for governing of e-commerce business.
Hogan has been a European commissioner since 2014 initially looked after agriculture was was later given the responsibility of trade in late 2019.
It would be “wonderful” if a European became the next head of the Geneva-based trade body WTO, Hogan told the European Parliament on Thursday.
Spanish foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya and Dutch trade minister Sigrid Kaag are among the two other possible European candidates for the same post.  This issue is slated to be become the center of discussions during a forthcoming meeting of EU ministers responsible for trade. The date of the meeting has been provisionally set for June 9. It is expected that following that meeting, only one candidate from Europe will be put forward.
Their own nationals as candidates for the post of WTO chief can be nominated from June 8 to July 8.
There is however some degree of pressure to choose he next leader of the global trade regulatory body from Africa, with four names from the continent being cited because three of the previous six directors-general were from Europe while the others were from Thailand, Brazil and New Zealand.
However some in Europe point out to an unwritten rule at the WTO which states that the post of director-general should alternate between the developed and developing world. Azevedo is Brazilian.
In recent years, there has also been a rising chorus about the need for reforms in the WTO as critics of the body saying that considerations should be made about the rise of China and state-owned enterprises.
“He’s a strong supporter of a reform agenda for the WTO,” Hogan’s spokesman said.