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Practice Areas

Brazilian Selected to be Next WTO Chief

Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Brazilian ambassador to the World Trade Organization Roberto Azevedo has been chosen over former Mexican trade minister Herminio Blanco to succeed Pascal Lamy as the organization’s director-general, press sources reported May 7. Azevedo, the first Latin American chosen to lead the WTO, will take the reins Sept. 1 for a four-year term as the organization prepares for an important ministerial meeting in Bali just a few months later (see related article this issue). An article in the Telegraph newspaper quoted him as saying the WTO needs a leader “who can roll up his sleeves, sit down with members and engage with them on an equal footing” and that “to do that, you need to know the system.” He also told the AFP press service recently that if elected “I’m not going to be there defending Brazilian interests … or Brazilian trade policy,” which some have criticized as being protectionist in the wake of the global economic downturn.

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