Doug McKalip earns support as nominee for Chief Agricultural Negotiator at United States Trade Representative

President Joe Biden on Wednesday, June 8, announced Doug McKalip as his nominee for Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the United States Trade Representative, and ag groups were quick to cheer the news.

Doug McKalip has been nominated to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator.
Doug McKalip has been nominated to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator.
Contributed / USDA
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday, June 8, announced Doug McKalip as his nominee for Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the United States Trade Representative, and ag groups were quick to cheer the news.

McKalip has served 29 years in ag policy and trade and since March 2021 has served as senior adviser to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on matters related to trade, national security, animal and plant health regulations, and "a wide portfolio of domestic and international issues," according to a White House statement. He previously has served in a variety of other U.S. Department of Agriculture and White House positions.

In a statement, Vilsack called McKalip "highly qualified and exceptionally capable" for the position and said he "has demonstrated a consistent ability to tackle difficult issues and to develop bi-partisan solutions to challenges when opposing views exist."

"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," the statement said.

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai in a statement said McKalip will work to continue expanding market access for U.S. agricultural products. after President Biden announced his intent to nominate Doug McKalip as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.


“Doug McKalip is a highly qualified nominee with decades of experience in public service. His institutional knowledge of USDA spans multiple administrations, from leading different offices to serving as trusted adviser to Secretary Vilsack, and will help us continue the close collaboration between our agencies that has enabled so much success," her statement said. “Russia’s war against Ukraine has disrupted the global supply of commodities, which increases the risk of food insecurity for millions of people. If confirmed, Doug will join a leadership team sharply focused on addressing these issues. I hope the United States Senate will swiftly consider Doug’s nomination and confirm him to this position.”

Ag groups lauded McKalip's experience and stressed the importance of the position to which he has been nominated.

"He is a government professional with a wide experience in agricultural issues," American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall said about McKalip. “It is crucial that this position be filled without further delay so existing agreements can be strengthened and new agreements with the European Union, Great Britain and in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework can be explored. We are ready to work with Mr. McKalip and Ambassador Tai to ensure a level playing field and advance the important work of expanding agricultural trade opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers.”

“(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 in a statement. “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.”

“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, in a statement. “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.”

McKalip has a master’s in public policy from the American University in Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a graduate of the Executive Fellows Program at Harvard Kennedy School of Government (2020), a Fellow in the California Agricultural Leadership DC Exchange (2018), and a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia (2005). He was also a participant in the Student Council for U.S. Affairs at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

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