WASHINGTON — On Sept. 7, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved Doug McKalip as the next chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

“Smart trade policy is one important solution to hunger in the 21st century — a policy that promotes affordable, abundant food here at home and abroad,” said Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) before the vote. “That policy must lower costs for our farmers, bust through trade barriers and help distribute more American ag exports. Mr. McKalip will lead those efforts as our top ag negotiator. 

“Doug McKalip is a strong choice to take on these challenges as our top trade advocate for American agriculture. He has fans on both sides of this committee, and we expect to work closely with him once he’s confirmed and on the job.”

The committee’s vote was 27-0. McKalip’s nomination will go before the US Senate for confirmation next.

McKalip’s “fans” — several elected officials, producers and stakeholders — voiced their support of his nomination following the committee’s decision.

“Today’s unanimous vote by the Senate Finance Committee sends a strong, bipartisan message that Doug McKalip will be an outstanding chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “Doug’s decades of public service and his unparalleled knowledge of agricultural and food security issues will be a major asset to our office as we continue to advance a trade agenda that benefits our farmers, ranchers, and producers.”

“In addition to USTR's ongoing efforts to improve and maintain international market access for US red meat, several new Biden administration trade initiatives are underway that will benefit from Mr. McKalip's agricultural experience and expertise,” said US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Halstrom. “USMEF thanks the Senate Finance Committee for advancing his nomination, and we urge prompt approval by the full Senate.”