Friday, April 15, 2005

WTO Watch: the EU's Candidate Pulls into the Lead

In the not very exciting race to be the next WTO Director-General, ex-EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy has pulled into the lead, according to this report. Brazil's candidate is apparently out of the running and Lamy has more support than the remaining two candidates (from Mauritius and Uruguay). Does any of this matter? It is hard to say, since the WTO chief's power is (as a formal matter) nearly non-existent. But his informal power could be significant, especially given his background as the EU's chief trade negotiator. No word on which way the U.S. will go, but I wouldn't be surprised if it throws its support to Lamy because, at least in WTO negotiations, the U.S. and the E.U. are usually on the same side of most issues.

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