On Thursday evening, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Doug McKalip as Chief Ag Negotiator with the United States Trade Representative. The Senate also confirmed the nomination of Dr. Jose Emilio Esteban as Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA. Both of these confirmations have been long-awaited by the agriculture industry. See reaction from various farm and ag organizations below:
McKalip Confirmed As Chief Ag Negotiator
The U.S. Grains Council offered this reaction to the Senate’s confirmation of Doug McKalip as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR):
“We welcome and are very much looking forward to working with Doug McKalip in his pivotal role. Combining his extensive international experience and more than 28 years of government service at the USDA, his strong background in farm and trade policy and his knowledge of biotechnology will be very helpful to advance trade priorities and open markets for U.S. corn, sorghum, barley and co-products.”
McKalip Confirmed as Ag Negotiator with USTR
The U.S. Senate today voted to approve the nomination of Doug McKalip to serve as chief agricultural negotiator with the United States Trade Representative.
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) supported approval of the nomination.
“We are pleased that the Senate voted to confirm this nomination,” said National Corn Growers Association Vice President of public policy Brooke S. Appleton. “We look forward to working with Mr. McKalip as we address Mexico’s looming decree that would ban imports of biotech corn.”
McKalip has worked on agricultural policy and trade for over 28 years. He most recently served as senior advisor to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. The position is charged with conducting and overseeing international negotiations related to trade in agricultural products.
Wheat Industry Welcomes Senate Confirmation of Doug McKalip as USTR Ag Negotiator
ARLINGTON, Virginia — Following almost two years without a Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are very glad that the U.S. Senate has confirmed Doug McKalip to fill the position.
“Mr. McKalip’s work in conservation, with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and recent negotiations with the Mexican government on biotech issues match up perfectly with some of the most important agricultural trade barriers,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “He is well prepared for this position, and we look forward to working with him to open and grow overseas markets for U.S. wheat.”
“Congratulations to Doug McKalip for filling this critical role,” said NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule. “I know Doug very well from his decades of public service at the USDA, and he will be an absolute asset to USTR, wheat growers and the ag community. With half the wheat grown in the United States destined for foreign markets, it is essential we have these key trade roles filled and we look forward to having Doug advocate for U.S. wheat farmers.”
American Sugar Alliance Applauds Confirmation of Ambassador Doug McKalip
Statement from the American Sugar Alliance on the confirmation of Doug McKalip as the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Chief Agricultural Negotiator:
“America’s sugar farmers and workers congratulate Doug McKalip on his confirmation as USTR’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator,” said Ryan Weston, Chairman of the American Sugar Alliance. “Ambassador McKalip will tirelessly enforce our global trading rules and expertly advocate for America’s farmers. With the global sugar market more dysfunctional than ever, we are confident that Ambassador McKalip’s steady leadership will help create a fairer global economy.”
CORN REFINERS THANK SENATE FOR MCKALIP CONFIRMATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the Senate’s confirmation of Doug McKalip as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Corn Refiners Association President & CEO John Bode issued the following statement:
“With an extensive tenure at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including serving as a senior advisor to Secretary Vilsack, Doug McKalip has the servant’s heart and experience needed to hit the ground running at the USTR. With the trade challenges facing our country and industry, McKalip will be able to use his strong background in agriculture and trade policy to advance trade priorities and open markets for U.S. agricultural producers and exporters. Fair agricultural trade benefits the U.S. and all our trading partners. On behalf of the corn refining industry, I congratulate McKalip on his confirmation. We look forward to working with him on these crucial issues.”
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture commends U.S. Senate for confirmation of McKalip as Chief Agricultural Negotiator
The U.S. Senate confirmed Douglas J. McKalip to be Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the United States Trade Representative today. NASDA CEO Ted McKinney offered the following statement in regard to his confirmation.
“Throughout his three decades of leadership in critical roles in agriculture trade policy, including his current role as senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, McKalip has represented American farmers, ranchers and agriculture around the world and has fiercely advocated for U.S. agricultural products and technology. We need knowledgeable and experienced leaders like McKalip to navigate the complex international trade and food security challenges our world is facing.
NASDA thanks the U.S. Senate for confirming Douglas J. McKalip as Chief Agricultural Negotiator. State departments of agriculture stand ready to work with McKalip to ensure U.S. agriculture leads the way toward a healthy and resilient world.”
NASDA has strongly supported McKalip’s nomination and has advocated for a swift confirmation.
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture praises confirmation of Esteban for Under Secretary for Food Safety
The U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Jose Emilio Esteban as Under Secretary for Food Safety. NASDA CEO Ted McKinney released the following statement regarding Dr. Esteban’s confirmation.
“Dr. Esteban is a remarkable scientist, and perhaps even more important, he is an exceptional communicator when it comes to helping others understand the science behind our food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture needs knowledgeable and experienced leaders at the helm like Dr. Esteban to navigate our food system’s current challenges and implement bipartisan solutions. We thank the U.S. Senate for confirming Dr. Esteban and for seeing the strengths he brings to the agriculture and food industry.”
NASDA also authored a letter of support for Dr. Esteban prior to his confirmation.
Chairman David Scott Releases Statement Congratulating Doug McKalip, Jose Emilio Esteban
WASHINGTON – Below is a statement from House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott following the confirmations of Doug McKalip and Jose Emilio Esteban to be Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the United States Trade Representative and Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety, respectively:
“I offer my sincere congratulations to Doug McKalip on his confirmation as Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the United States Trade Representative,” said Chairman David Scott.
“Access to foreign markets is critical in today’s agricultural economy and, while there are many global challenges confronting our industry, there are also many opportunities for American food and agricultural exports within reach. Ambassador McKalip’s decades of public service experience in agricultural policy, from the Department of Agriculture to the White House, equip him well to take on this role and help deliver for the American people. I look forward to seeing the good work he and the Biden Administration continue to do for our agricultural industry,” Chairman David Scott continued.
“Most sincere congratulations to Jose Emilio Esteban on his confirmation to serve as Under Secretary for Food Safety,” said Chairman David Scott.
“Access to safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and good health among all Americans. Dr. Esteban’s decades of experience in Federal government, including roles at CDC and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, have helped to safeguard the American food supply. His expertise in agricultural policy has served him well, and I look forward to seeing more of his valuable contributions in the future,” Chairman David Scott added.
Reaction from USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom:
NMPF and USDEC Praise Senate Confirmation of Doug McKalip as Chief Ag Negotiator
ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) today welcomed the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Doug McKalip as chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
“The role of the agriculture ambassador is critical to elevating U.S. agricultural priorities within USTR and with our trading partners,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Today’s Senate confirmation of Doug ensures that American dairy farmers will be strongly represented at the negotiating table as the U.S. pursues full implementation of USMCA dairy terms and engages in trade discussions with Indo-Pacific partners and others. Doug understands the value that comprehensive trade agreements have brought to American farmers and ranchers, and we encourage him to be a vocal advocate for new agricultural market access opportunities.”
“USDEC commends the U.S. Senate for taking an important step today in confirming Doug McKalip to serve as U.S. agriculture’s top trade official,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “Doug’s impressive career as a public servant working on a wide breadth of agricultural issues brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this key role. We believe he will serve as an advocate for a forward-leaning trade policy agenda that brings tangible results to U.S. dairy producers, processors and workers throughout the dairy supply chain.”
The confirmation comes at a time when international demand for dairy is at a record high. However, headwinds persist for U.S. dairy exporters, whether in the form of tariffs that put U.S. suppliers at a competitive disadvantage or through a variety of nontariff barriers. McKalip’s confirmation is an important step to addressing the hurdles and ensuring U.S. dairy exports continue their strong growth into the future.
IDFA Applauds Senate Confirmation of Doug McKalip as Chief Agricultural Negotiator
WASHINGTON, December 22, 2022—Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, released the following statement today on the U.S. Senate confirmation of Doug McKalip to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR):
“Doug McKalip has served in the federal government with distinction over several decades and administrations, demonstrating a commitment to furthering the interests of those who produce and market U.S. food and agriculture. IDFA applauds his confirmation as our nation’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator—an essential role for advancing export opportunities for U.S. dairy.
“U.S. dairy exports support thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in economic impact across the country. IDFA is certain that Ambassador McKalip will work within USTR and the White House to advance market opportunities for U.S. dairy and hold nations accountable for erecting barriers to trade or flouting the terms of trade agreements. The U.S. dairy industry is primed to be the world’s leading supplier of nutritious, affordable, and sustainable dairy products. To do that, we must have officials in the U.S. government fighting for our interests every single day. Having Ambassador McKalip ’s experience and talent supporting our industry’s need for new trade agreements and ensuring the efficacy of current agreements will help us realize our lofty goals.”
Statement Commending Confirmation of Critical Ag Trade Nominees McKalip and Taylor
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Brian Kuehl, Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade, the nation’s leading ag trade advocacy coalition made up major food and ag groups, released a statement on the confirmation of two key ag trade nominees. On November 29th, Farmers for Free Trade led a letter from over 50 of America’s leading food and agriculture organizations to Senate Leaders Schumer and McConnell asking them to secure the Senate confirmation of Doug McKalip to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Alexis Taylor to serve as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at USDA before the end of the year.
Alexis Taylor’s nomination was approved by the Senate on Wednesday and Doug McKalip’s nomination was approved by the Senate today.
“We are enormously pleased that the Senate has confirmed these two champions for food and ag trade. We are also proud to have helped organize the food and ag community in support of moving these nominations over the finish line. This duo’s incredible wealth of experience fighting for pro-food and agriculture trade policy is desperately needed right now. It will be important that they draw on their years of expertise to help open opportunities in foreign markets and ensure we are not being outpaced by our global competitors.
“The food and ag community really came together in this effort. In doing so we reminded Congress and the Administration that supporting American exports can and should be a bipartisan priority. We need to build off that momentum next year to get off the sidelines on trade policy. We now have the team in place to do it.”