President Joe Biden has nominated Doug McKalip as Chief Agriculture Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). For nearly three decades McKalip has served as an agriculture policy leader and trade expert in a variety of capacities. He is currently working as a senior adviser to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, dealing with policy and regulatory issues. The nomination is receiving a significant amount of support from a variety of industry groups.
“Expanding U.S. agricultural export opportunities requires all hands on deck,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation. “The position of USTR’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator plays a central role in driving trade policy and expanding overseas markets for dairy products. Doug is an excellent choice given his strong background in agriculture, earned while serving in numerous positions within the White House and USDA. He brings an informed perspective on how to best drive policy and support American agriculture and he will be ready to lead from day one.”
The position of chief ag negotiator has remained vacant since President Biden took office. Other groups that have expressed support for the nomination include the U.S. Grains Council, Farmers for Free Trade, U.S. Apple Association, U.S. Wheat Associates, National Association of Wheat Growers, and U.S. Dairy Export Council. USTR Katherine Tai also expressed support for the nomination, encouraging a swift confirmation from the U.S. Senate.
“Doug McKalip is highly qualified and exceptionally capable of serving the American people as Chief Agricultural Negotiator,” Secretary Vilsack said in a news release. “Doug has been a key member of my team throughout my tenure as Secretary of Agriculture and has demonstrated a consistent ability to tackle difficult issues and to develop bi-partisan solutions to challenges when opposing views exist. These skills will serve him well as Chief Agricultural Negotiator.”