June 29, 2020 / 9:24 AM / 14 days ago

EU trade chief Hogan says he will not seek to head WTO

FILE PHOTO: European Trade Commissioner-designate Phil Hogan of Ireland attends his hearing before the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium September 30, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said on Monday he would not seek to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, having previously said he was looking into the possibility.

Hogan said in a statement that the EU’s trade agenda, including transatlantic tensions, the need to establish a level playing field with China and talks with Britain about future relations required the full involvement of the European Union and, in particular, the trade commissioner.

“Accordingly, I have decided that I will not be putting my name forward for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organization,” he said.

Hogan said earlier this month that he was exploring the option of being a candidate for the post that will become vacant at the start of September because incumbent Roberto Azevedo is stepping down a year early.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, Editing by Marine Strauss and Catherine Evans

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