WITA Webinar: Conversation with WTO Director General Candidate H.E. Yoo Myung-hee
Wendy Cutler with the Washington International Trade Association (WITA)
On Tuesday, August 11th, Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) Vice President Wendy Cutler cohosted another webinar in an ongoing Washington International Trade Association (WITA) special web series. WITA and Cutler interviewed Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea's nominee to become the next World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General. Yoo is the seventh of eight official candidates to have spoken with Cutler and WITA.
Cutler, along with WITA Executive Director Ken Levinson and President of the National Foreign Trade Council Amb. Rufus Yerxa, talked about several key issues that will confront the next Director-General, and Yoo explained what her approach to handling all of them would be.
Yoo, with whom Cutler had worked during the U.S.-Korea FTA (KORUS) negotiations when Yoo led the Korean team on competition and services, emphasized her ability to bring together various countries at the WTO, promising to be "more transparent on trade measures" and to play a "bridging role." Cutler agreed that the next Director-General will need to find common ground between the United States and China in particular.
Yoo also touched on arguments about the WTO developing country self-designation practice, saying that she wanted trade to help developing countries but also pointing out that, at the moment, "over half of WTO members declare themselves as developing countries." The four participants also discussed ongoing e-commerce talks, the digital economy, and contentious debates about subsidies as well as potential reforms to the most-favored-nation (MFN) principle.