Britain will nominate former trade secretary Liam Fox as its candidate to be the next director general of the World Trade Organization.

"Dr Fox is a passionate advocate of multilateralism, who brings detailed knowledge of the global trading system from his years as a UK Cabinet Minister and Secretary of State for International Trade," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement. 

"He has first-hand experience of the political and technical challenges of negotiating trade agreements, and the reforms that are needed to ensure the global trading system truly delivers for all WTO members," the Prime Minister said. 

Earlier, Spain's Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya today ruled out running to be the new chief of the World Trade Organization. 

"It would be prudent" to rule out any candidacy to the WTO top job, she said in a interview to news agency Europa Press. 

Nominations for the WTO's top job were open until today, and Gonzalez Laya had been considered as a possible candidate.

Last month Phil Hogan, Ireland's European Union commissioner, also pulled out of the race to become the next World Trade Organization chief. 

Mr Hogan cited the busy EU trade agenda, including the Brexit negotiations and the risk of the election drifting well into the autumn, as reasons for his decision not to put his name forward.

Although he had never formally declared as a candidate, Mr Hogan said on June 8 that he was "exploring" his candidacy for the WTO position.

The existing WTO Director General, Brazilian Roberto Azevēdo, is due to step down in September. 


 

The existing WTO Director General, Brazilian Roberto Azevēdo, is due to step down in September.