There is a widespread notion that the US presidency led by Donald Trump rejected Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela simply because they are racist. We think the issue is more political than it is about race.
Donald Trump administration isn’t being RACIST by being against Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela’s emergence as the DG of WTO. This is mere politics and not racism.
South Korea is more politically important to America than Nigeria is. Both Ngozi and Yoo are American citizens but South Korea is a powerful ally and US decision is only a matter of political interest.
For example, should they have to choose between a Nigerian and an Israeli, they’d still support an Israeli instead. US knows that Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela will eventually become the DG of WTO but they want to try all they could to frustrate that… It’s kind of a thing of loyalty.
Again, the US decision is based on the fact that Yoo will represent their interest better especially in the ongoing trade war against China.
China is the common enemy of the US and South Korea as long as Trump is concerned. China is the most hated country in South-Korea and this means Yoo may have the same sentiments that the US have against China.
Trump believes that WTO has been horrible and biased towards China. Appointing a Nigerian whose philosophy may not align with that of Trump will further mean that the US only have a loose grip on WTO.
Recall that in 2012, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was in the race for the position of the President of World Bank, the US president, Barrack Obama didn’t support her but supported Jim Yung Kim, a South-Korean and American physician. Barack Obama is blacked by the way.
WTO members will meet on November 9 after the US election where a final decision will be made. The outcome of the US election will also have a significant impact on the decisions.