Biden nominates longtime USDA adviser to agricultural trade post

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WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden intends to nominate Doug McKalip, a veteran agricultural and trade policy expert, to be the U.S. Trade Representative’s next chief agricultural trade negotiator, the White House said on Wednesday.

McKalip, a longtime U.S. Department of Agriculture official, has served as the senior adviser to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on trade, national security and animal and plant health regulations since March 2021.

“Doug McKalip is a highly qualified nominee with decades of experience in public service,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

“His institutional knowledge of USDA spans multiple administrations, from leading different offices to serving as trusted advisor to Secretary Vilsack, and will help us continue the close collaboration between our agencies that has enabled so much success.”

The position directs USTR’s negotiations aimed at boosting U.S. farm exports, such as a recent agreement to allow more U.S. beef exports to Japan.

The United States is currently locked in a dispute with Canada over Ottawa’s allocation of dairy import quotas under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which USTR says undermines agreed U.S. access to Canada’s protected dairy market.

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(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Richard Pullin)