The U.S. Senate has confirmed Doug McKalip to serve as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office.
McKalip’s confirmation comes one day after Alexis Taylor was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the USDA’s Under Secretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. Both positions had gone unfilled since Jan. 2021.
In a statement, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said that McKalip will represent “the interests of our farmers, ranchers, producers, and workers, including expanding market access for their products.”
McKalip has served as an agriculture policy leader and trade expert for 29 years. Since March 2021, he has served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on all agricultural matters relating to trade, national security, animal and plant health regulations, and a wide portfolio of domestic and international issues. McKalip formerly served in a leadership capacity in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Biotechnology Regulatory Services.
He served as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture from 2015 to September 2016, and also as Acting Chief of Staff. McKalip was Senior Advisor for Agriculture and Rural Affairs at the White House Domestic Policy Council, where he counseled President Barack Obama on issues involving farm, ranch, and rural policy. He served as the Director of the White House Rural Council and coordinated the Executive Branch-wide response to the 2012-2013 drought. McKalip has served in a variety of other roles at USDA, including as Confidential Assistant to the Secretary, and Director of Legislative and Public Affairs for the National Resources Conservation Service at USDA.