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WTO Paralysis Deepens as Members Fail to Pick Interim Chief (1)

July 31, 2020, 11:41 AM

Trade officials in Geneva on Friday failed to select an acting leader of the World Trade Organization to take over when current Director-General Roberto Azevedo steps down on Aug. 31.

WTO delegates couldn’t broker a consensus agreement this week after the U.S. demanded that an American, Alan Wolff, become interim director-general instead of Karl Brauner of Germany.

If the impasse continues into September it will leave the arbiter of international trade rules leaderless until WTO members select a new director-general for a four-year term -- a process that is unlikely to wrap up until November and could potentially extend...

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