Liam Fox

United Kingdom press release on Liam Fox’s nomination as candidate for WTO Director-General

Below is the text of the United Kingdom press release on the UK’s nomination of Liam Fox,

“UK nominates Liam Fox as next Director General of the WTO

“UK nominates former International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox as next Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

“Published 8 July 2020


“Department for International Trade ( and The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP (

“The UK will today nominate former International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

“The Government believes he is the ideal candidate for the following reasons:

“He is a passionate advocate of multilateralism, and fully committed to advancing the WTO and rules-based trading system.

“Dr Fox brings decades of experience in global politics, as well as first-hand experience of running a trade ministry.

“He believes that rules based free trade underpins global prosperity and security and that the benefits must be widely shared for all citizens and countries.

“Writing to the WTO today, the Prime Minister will say:

“As the world seeks to recover from the shared challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of free and fair trade has never been more crucial.

“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. He has firsthand
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.

“Liz Truss, International Trade Secretary, said:

“The new WTO Director General needs to be a fierce champion of free and fair trade, an advocate of multilateralism, and be able to get things done and increase the pace of reform. Dr Liam Fox brings all those
things to the table.

“He has experience making tough political decisions as a former UK Trade Secretary, is committed to the fundamental principle of free and fair trade and has excellent relationships with WTO members around the
world. He is the ideal candidate to lead the WTO into a new era and help push forward much-needed modernisation of the organisation.

“The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP said:

“I am honoured to have been nominated by the Prime Minister to be a candidate to lead the World Trade Organization. I believe that if we want to keep the WTO relevant and vibrant our task is clear: Update.
Strengthen and Reform. We must ensure that global trade works for everyone.

“Trade is a way in which we spread prosperity more widely. That prosperity underpins social cohesion, that social cohesion in turns underpins political stability and that political stability is the building block of our
collective security.

“The WTO announced earlier this year that its current Director-General, Roberto Azevedo would step down from his post in August, following 7 years in charge.

“The formal selection process for the new Director-General is run by the three most senior chairs of the WTO, the General Council, Trade Policy Review and the Dispute Settlement body.

“The successful candidate must attract a consensus from all member states and once appointed will serve a four-year term.

“Published 8 July 2020”

Liam Fox of the United Kingdom to be Nominated by UK for post of WTO Director-General

The Financial Times has reported that Liam Fox, a former UK trade secretary and a former defence secretary, will be put forward yet today by the United Kingdom as a candidate for the Director-General post of the World Trade Organization. See Financial Times, July 8, 2020, UK set to nominate Liam Fox for top WTO job,; see also New York Times, July 8, 2020, UK to Nominate Ex-Minister Liam Fox as WTO Boss: Spectator,

Mr. Fox will be the seventh candidate when his nomination is received and will be the first nomination from a developed country. He will join Jesus Seade (Mexico), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria), Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh (Egypt), Tudor Ulianovschi (Moldova), Yoo Myung-hhe (Republic of Korea), and Amb. Amina C. Mohamed (Kenya). The nominating period at the WTO for the Director-General comes to a close at the end of July 8.

Mr. Fox has spent a lot of time with both the United States and China according to press reports which presumably will be part of his message to WTO Members on why he could be an effective Director-General (in helping bridge differences between the two large WTO Members).

Mr. Fox is a Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom, served as Secretary of State for International Trade from 2016-2019 and Secretary of State for Defence from 2010 to 2011. He is a member of the Conservative Party and voted for Brexit. Mr. Fox’s Wikipedia entry provides a listing of prior positions, his education, etc.

His biography as forwarded to the World Trade Organization was not yet posted as of 2:15 p.m. (Geneva time) on July 8.