As it struggles to resume the Doha Round of international trade talks, the Geneva, Switzerland-based World Trade Organization (WTO) is about to get a new Director-General. He is Pascal Lamy, the highly respected former trade commissioner of the European Union. A formal vote on Lamy's selection is scheduled to take place on May 26. His term begins Sept. 1.
"Pascal's experience and prominence in international trade will enable him to be a strong public advocate for the WTO as an institution and for open markets," says Rob Portman, the U.S. Trade Representative. "His commitment and leadership will be essential to all our efforts for a successful Hong Kong Ministerial [meeting] in December and for concluding an ambitious and far-reaching result to the global trade talks next year."
The Doha Round originally was to have been concluded by Jan. 1, 2005, but has been delayed, among other reasons, by sharp differences over agricultural policy.