Divining the Next Trade Czars: In Washington and Geneva


I am sorry to see that my pal Grant Aldonas has fallen out of the rumour mill on who might be the next U.S. Trade Representative.
Chris Nelson of the Nelson Report gives a glimpse of the latest jockeying, both for USTR and the next Director General of the World Trade Organization.
He writes:
Trade gossip…with USTR Zoellick’s confirmation hearing as Deputy Secretary of State tomorrow, assumption is his successor will be announced quickly. Rumor mill of late has been all Gary Edson.
In any event, for sure the new DAUSTR for China is Audrey Winter, helping AUSTR/China Charles Freeman.
Over in Geneva, politicking for the next WTO chief starts in earnest with formal selection of the three who will run the “consensus” process. Tomorrow, the General Council will confirm Kenya’s Amina Mohamed as Chair, with Norway’s Erik Glenne as chair of the Dispute Settlement Body, and Canada’s Don Stephenson as chair of the Trade Policy Review Body. These three will start cutting the Director General race down to size…now, everyone is waiting on Brazil to get the message that all of Latin America supports Uruguay’s Perez del Castillo, and for Brazil’s guy to do the right thing (quit).
The US is presumed to back former EU trade commissioner Pascal Lamy. For those still counting on a Doha Development Round, the final choice is deemed critical.

— Steve Clemons