Grassley Says McKalip Unlikely to Buck Biden Anti-FTA Policy

Ag and Finance panel Senator Chuck Grassley says it’s unlikely Biden nominee for U.S. Chief Ag Negotiator will buck the president’s anti-free trade agreement policy, though Grassley says Doug McKalip could boost existing deals.

Grassley says McKalip could speak out against the president’s direction to his trade officials, not to do market-opening trade deals.

“Well, if he wants to be irritable and confrontational, he can do some good by letting people know, he’s concerned about agriculture, and trade deals and the importance of free trade to agriculture.”

But will he? Grassley; “I don’t think he would dare have that kind of courage. but if he did have it, he could make a big difference, and even if he didn’t change any policy, he would at least know that the interests that he represents are being heard at the highest levels.”

McKalip told Grassley and the Finance Committee at his Senate confirmation hearing; “I wouldn’t be taking this job, I wouldn’t be interested in it, if I didn’t think I could make a difference for farmers.”

McKalip insists, if confirmed, he’ll push to expand ag trade in the UK, the Indo-Pacific, Latin America and parts of Africa. A new challenge could include China, still short of its Phase I commitments, but now cooling relations with the U.S., over Taiwan.

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