03:29 GMT30 October 2020
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    Sacked by the current UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2019, Liam Fox lost the title of the Secretary of State for International Trade, only to be nominated by the same government to pioneer his vision of free trade on the global stage.

    Writing to the WTO on 8 July, Boris Johnson is expected to 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 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 UK Trade Secretary Liz Truss has confirmed Liam Fox’s nomination and 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 UK Government called Fox the ideal candidate because among other reasons, "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."

    Political Background

    A Brexiteer and a proponent of Britain securing new deals on the global trade arena, Fox became part of the government Cabinet in 2010 as he undertook the role of the Secretary of State for Defence. He resigned from the job in October 2011, following a critical report saying he put the security of himself and his officials at "risk" on overseas visits by sharing sensitive information with his friend and businessman Adam Werritty. 

    ​In 2016, following the UK vote on its membership of the European Union, he was appointed by then PM Theresa May as the Trade Secretary.

    Fox’s nomination is widely discussed on social media, with comments on his competency pouring in. 

     

    In response to his nomination, Fox said that he is "honoured" and believes 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," he added. ​

    The World trade Organization is seeking to replace Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who is standing down on 31 August. Fox joins the list of six other candidates from Mexico, Nigeria, Egypt, Moldova, South Korea, and Kenya.

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