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."
Delighted to confirm that the UK will be nominating @LiamFox to be the next Director General of the WTO.— Liz Truss (@trussliz) July 8, 2020
We need a fierce champion of free and fair trade, an advocate of multilateralism and someone able to get things done.
Liam brings all that to the table.
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."
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.
Liam Fox would be a pro-Washington and pro-Brexit pick for the head of the WTO, and could help blunt a push to withdraw the US from the organization. https://t.co/BFbfVvcdaM— Adam Shaw (@AdamShawNY) July 8, 2020
I think I can just about see through the chaos of the last 10 years to a time when Liam Fox had to quit government because of dodgy dealings with businessmen. Very 2020 for the UK to be promoting this approach to business relations at the WTO. https://t.co/Ow9VeXXvhd— Thomas Kohut (@ThomasKohut) July 8, 2020
Liam Fox's chances of landing the WTO gig: pic.twitter.com/r6guvLGoYA— CPD 74 (@cpd_74) July 8, 2020
Has everyone just forgotten the whole "sacked as he could be a security risk" thing https://t.co/MsDOlyjtyN— Jonn Elledge (@JonnElledge) July 8, 2020
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.