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WTO out of gas: Global powers vie for control over stuck vehicle

New and old worlds push candidates -- and agendas -- as economies sputter

The director-general Roberto Azevedo's surprise departure reflects the WTO's decline. (Source photo by Reuters)

TOKYO -- When Roberto Azevedo announced his intent to resign as director-general of the World Trade Organization a year early, he may have felt relieved as the novel coronavirus pandemic ravaged economies.

The 62-year-old Brazilian career diplomat seemed noticeably at ease when he made the bombshell announcement via video link on May 14.

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