WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Bipartisan Approval Following Senate Finance Committee Unanimous Vote on Doug McKalip

September 07, 2022

WASHINGTON – Earlier today, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved Doug McKalip’s nomination to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative by a vote of 27-0. McKalip’s nomination will now go to the full United States Senate for confirmation.
Following the Committee’s vote, a broad group of elected officials, producers, and stakeholders voiced their strong belief that the United States Senate should confirm McKalip as quickly as possible.
Read more about what they are saying:
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden: “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.”
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf: "I’m thrilled to see Doug McKalip, a native Pennsylvanian, be appointed to this position. He is a trusted entity in the agricultural community who has been navigating priority ag issues for years. We look forward to his expertise and solutions as he navigates the macro issues of trade with what will surely be profoundly thought for our regional needs.”
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker: “Doug McKalip has been a long-time supporter of farmers and rural Americans, advocating for the interests of working families who are far too often overlooked. He would be an excellent choice to supervise our agricultural market as it grows and adapts. Agriculture is the backbone of Illinois and we look forward to partnering with Doug to advance this critical industry.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown: “With 29 years of public service, Doug McKalip brings a wide portfolio of domestic and international agriculture and trade experience. I know he will be strong advocate for our rural communities and our country’s incredibly diverse agriculture sector. I urge the Senate to act swiftly in confirming Mr. McKalip to be the USTR’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator.”
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts: “I write to recommend the swift confirmation of Doug McKalip to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of U.S. Trade Representative. As Governor of Nebraska, I represent one of the leading agricultural economies in the nation. Strong trade relations and well-negotiated trade agreements are imperative to our success as a state. It is important we have an effective Chief Agricultural Negotiator to help reduce trade barriers, expand market access for products, and ensure our farmers and ranchers can compete in the global economy. I believe that Mr. McKalip is a great fit for this role. His decades of experience in agriculture policy have prepared him to immediately begin representing United States farmers, ranchers, producers, and industries across the globe.”
Washington State Director of Agriculture Derek Sandison: “Doug McKalip has extensive international experience and more than 29 years of service at the USDA. He will be able to use his solid background in agriculture and trade policy to advance sound trade priorities. Mr. McKalip’s expertise and leadership qualities position him well to help secure greater market access for U.S. products and ensure enforcement of clear and fair rules with our trading partners. We urge the U.S. Senate to expedite his confirmation.”
North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring: “Agriculture plays a major role in the lives of all North Dakotans and is one of our state’s largest industries. In his long career in agriculture, Doug has served agricultural interests well and would be critical to opening export markets, defending market access and holding trade partners to agreements at the USTR.”
California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross: “I have had the pleasure of working closely with Doug McKalip and can attest to his intellect and ability to work towards outcomes that provide great public benefit. He has a deep understanding of the vast bounty and diversity of American agriculture and the places where it is produced. He will do an outstanding job for the American people.”
Ted McKinney, CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture: “Throughout his three decades of leadership in critical roles in agriculture trade policy, including his current role as trusted advisor to Secretary Vilsack, Mr. McKalip has represented American farmers, ranchers and agriculture around the world and advocated for U.S. agricultural products and technology. Mr. McKalip has the experience to promote US agriculture across the globe and the passion, demeanor, and diplomacy to succeed.”
Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation: “The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased to see the nomination of Doug McKalip for chief agriculture negotiator move forward to the full Senate. Doug is a government professional with experience in agricultural issues, and today’s unanimous vote further proves that Doug is well suited to represent farmers’ interests on the international stage…AFBF is eager to work with Mr. McKalip and Ambassador Tai to strengthen current agreements and create new opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers. We urge the full Senate to quickly confirm Doug McKalip.”
Krysta Harden, President and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council: “We thank the Senate Finance Committee for its action today in support of Mr. McKalip’s nomination and the committee’s recognition of just how important this position is for American agriculture. McKalip understands the needs of the U.S. dairy industry, agricultural workers and the rural economy, having skillfully served in numerous government roles touching on agricultural issues throughout his career. Now, we ask the full Senate to take up the matter and approve McKalip’s nomination in the coming few weeks. Time is of the essence, as USTR considers a broad range of new trade endeavors.”
Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation: “Today’s Senate Finance Committee vote in support of Mr. McKalip’s nomination is a critical step toward getting U.S. agriculture’s chief advocate installed at USTR. Given the strength of his credentials and the urgency in advancing the U.S. agricultural trade agenda, we ask the Senate to act without delay to approve McKalip. As the U.S. prepares to advance numerous trade policy vehicles that hold the potential to positively impact our exports, it’s essential that agriculture’s seat at the table be filled.”
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association: “NCBA is pleased that @SenateFinance + @SenFinance approved Doug McKalip's nomination for @USTradeRep Chief Agricultural Negotiator in a unanimous, bipartisan vote. Cattle producers need an advocate for opening new markets and expanding trade opportunities!”
Brian Kuehl, Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade: “We applaud the Senate Finance Committee for unanimously moving Mr. McKalip’s nomination forward to the full Senate. It’s abundantly clear that there is bipartisan momentum behind both his nomination and the need to open markets for American farmers who rely on trade. Our nation’s ag trade negotiator is a critical voice for expanding access into new markets for food and ag…We look forward to working with Mr. McKalip, particularly as the U.S. addresses foreign trade barriers, pursues the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and considers tariff rollbacks.”
Renewable Fuels Association: “RFA congratulates Doug McKalip on a successful confirmation vote from the Senate Finance Committee. We look forward to working with him on #ethanol and related trade issues once he is fully confirmed by the Senate.”
National Grain and Feed Association: “Thank you @RonWyden @SenateFinance @MikeCrapo @SenFinance for unanimously advancing Doug McKalip's nomination for @USTradeRep chief ag negotiator today. NGFA urges the full Senate to confirm ASAP. #trade #agriculture”
Pet Food Institute: “Pleased to see Doug McKalip’s nomination to be chief ag negotiator approved by @SenateFinance 27-0. PFI encourages swift confirmation by the full #Senate #petfood @agriculture #trade”