US welcomes Azevedo as WTO chief

The United States welcomed the choice of Roberto Azevedo Wednesday to lead the World Trade Organization, after he beat out Mexico's Herminio Blanco in the final round of the selection process.

"WTO members had an excellent pool of candidates from which to choose our next director-general, particularly in the case of the two finalists. Both are strong leaders," said acting US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis.

"The United States is pleased to join the consensus decision that has selected Roberto Azevedo as the next director-general of the WTO, and we look forward to working with him and with our fellow members for a robust, relevant, and productive organization in the years to come."

Washington has raised the pressure on the WTO to conclude the long-stalled Doha round of talks toward a new global trade pact by pushing forward with separate trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic free trade agreements in case Doha fails.