The Biden administration's Ag trade team is one step closer to being full strength, after the announcement of their nominee for the position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator within the US Trade representative's office.

"Projects that have multiple land owner benefits are the one's we try to perform first; one's that have several folks involved in them," said Doug McKalip back in 2008 when it was with NRCS, part of his almost 30 year career, much of it with USDA.

Other past duties include Director of the White House Rural Council and his roll as Senior Adviser to the Agriculture Secretary on issues ranging from biotechnology to trade.

"It's vitally important for Ambassador Tai to have a full team that can ensure USA-grown wheat, berries, meat and other ag products can reach markets around the world,” said Senate Finance Committee Chair, Oregon's Ron Wyden. "Mr. McKalip has an impressive history of public service in this field. I look forward to reviewing his nomination and filling this high-profile role."

“Doug McKalip is highly qualified and exceptionally capable of serving the American people as Chief Agricultural Negotiator. Having served as a key agriculture policy official for nearly three decades, he has worked on every aspect of farming from soil conservation, and the supply chain to dealing with sensitive trade and national security matters. Through his service, he has represented American farmers around the world and advocated for U.S. agricultural products and technology”, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

"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," Vilsack continued. "These skills will serve him well as Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). We will miss having Doug here at USDA, but know that American agriculture and USTR will be well served by having him in this new role. I urge the U.S. Senate to confirm him at the earliest possible opportunity.”

“[The National Association of Wheat Growers] applauds President Biden nominating Doug McKalip to this critical role, and we encourage the Senate Finance Committee to work quickly in moving forward with this nomination,” said NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule. “I know Doug very well from his decades of public service at the USDA, and he will be able to hit the ground running on day one. There are numerous challenges facing the United States when it comes to ag trade, but we are eager to see Doug’s nomination move quickly so he may begin important work at USTR to advocate for U.S. wheat farmers.”

“Trade is incredibly important to U.S. wheat producers, who export about half their production each year. That makes securing market access and the work of USTR critical,” said U.S. Wheat President, Vince Peterson. “We welcome the nomination and look forward to him being confirmed and in place to advocate for agriculture at USTR.”

“Doug McKalip has experience working with many facets of agriculture and is well suited to serve in this important post,” said Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute. “This is a critical time to work toward greater access to global markets for U.S. meat and poultry products. We urge the Senate to consider his nomination without delay.”

National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) President and CEO Mike Seyfert congratulated Doug McKalip on his nomination to be chief agricultural negotiator for the office of the U.S. Trade Representative. 

“Doug McKalip is eminently qualified to serve as chief agricultural negotiator with decades of experience in public service and deep knowledge in agricultural trade and national security," said National Grain and Feed Association President and CEO Mike Seyfert. "NGFA has worked with him on myriad issues important to U.S. agriculture. He has the experience and expertise to secure greater market access for U.S. products and ensure enforcement of clear and fair rules with our trade partners so the U.S. food and agriculture industry may fairly compete in the global economy. NGFA urges the Senate to approve his nomination expeditiously, as it is critical to ensure the role of chief agricultural negotiator is filled so that U.S. agriculture is fully represented in trade negotiations at the highest level.”

"It’s encouraging that the Biden Administration has nominated Mr. McKalip for this critical position," said Brian Kuehl, Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade. "The ag negotiator position is vital for opening export markets to Made-in-America food and ag and we hope the Senate moves swiftly on confirmation. We look forward to working with Mr. McKalip on the many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, particularly as the U.S. pursues the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and considers tariff rollbacks.

"Mr. McKalip’s long service at USDA should prepare him well for fighting for the needs of our nation’s farm and food interests," Kuehl continued. "We need aggressive action to open markets for American ag, particularly as we struggle to compete globally due to trade policies that have encouraged protectionism and erected too many barriers to trade. USTR knows well that U.S. farmers and ranchers export more than 20 percent of what they produce and that those exports are essential to their prosperity. We must continue to expand and protect American food and ag exports."

“Expanding U.S. agricultural export opportunities requires all hands on deck,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation [NMPF]. “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. NMPF encourages the Senate to confirm him without delay, so that he may hit the ground running.” 

“Doug has spent a lifetime in service to America’s farmers and rural communities, and we are grateful for his dedication,” said Krysta Harden, U.S. Dairy Export Council president and CEO. “He has seen firsthand how opening new markets and lowering tariffs on American dairy products have been essential to the success or our farmers, manufacturers and workers. Additional market opportunities await American dairy, as global consumers reach for our high-quality, sustainably produced products when given the chance. As Chief Agricultural Negotiator, he will have the opportunity to help us continue to grow and thrive through exports, which today account for over 17% of domestic milk production.”

McKalip's nomination goes to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

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