WTO picks Japan's Ihara as next chair of General Council


The World Trade Organization on Wednesday selected Junichi Ihara, Japan’s representative in Geneva, as the next chairman of the WTO General Council.

Ihara, who will hold the post for a one-year term, becomes the second Japanese to head the General Council following Shotaro Oshima, who took the helm of the body in 2004.

Ihara will steer the 164-member trade watchdog’s decision-making body together with WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo.

Until March, Ihara chaired WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body for a year and has been credited for mediating disputes between advanced and developing countries.

He is assuming the position at a time when concern is mounting that U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could trigger a global trade war.

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