A coalition of over 100 food and agriculture industry groups and businesses signed a letter urging a swift floor vote on the confirmation of Doug McKalip as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). A copy of the letter is included below for reference.

Please reach out to Tony Rice ([email protected]) with any questions.

September 20, 2022

The Honorable Charles Schumer, Majority Leader
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Leaders Schumer and McConnell,

On behalf of the broad and diverse stakeholders in American Agriculture we represent, we urge you to work with your colleagues to expeditiously confirm Doug McKalip as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

We write with strong concern over further delay because we are reminded daily of the need for greater attention and emphasis from the Administration on agricultural export market growth. At the end of August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cut its Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 agricultural export forecast and presaged an agricultural trade deficit in FY 2023. The USDA raised the value of exports to $196 billion but also increased the value of agricultural imports to $192 billion, narrowing the agricultural trade surplus to just $4 billion. USDA now forecasts lower agricultural exports for the next fiscal year and again has increased its import projection by another $5 billion, taking a small trade surplus this year and moving into net deficit territory next year. Agricultural trade deficits, once unimaginable, are now reality, underscoring the need to have in place a Senate-confirmed negotiator dedicated to pushing for new agricultural markets and removing barriers to growth in existing ones.

Over a year has passed since the expiration of Trade Promotion Authority and with it the power to negotiate new, binding agreements to lower tariffs. The competitive landscape, as demonstrated by USDA’s latest projections, is moving quickly, and away from the United States. More competitive export nations are negotiating new, long-term deals including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which entered into force in January. The 15-member trade block includes 10 Southeast Asian nations and their five largest trading partners, namely Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. The United States has countered with the Indo Pacific Economic Framework, which is a promising step in the right direction, but the Biden Administration trade team needs more hands and voices to deliver upon its promise. Other new, bilateral opportunities for U.S. agricultural trade await in places like the United Kingdom, India, and Taiwan but their potential can only be realized with the meaningful contribution of the Chief Agricultural Negotiator.

Fortunately, President Biden has nominated a highly qualified professional in Doug McKalip for the position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator. If confirmed, McKalip would bring to the position decades of experience representing the interests of U.S. agriculture, having served in numerous leadership positions at USDA and the White House. The Senate Finance Committee recently recognized Doug’s impeccable credentials, voting on September 7 to favorably report his nomination to the full Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.

With the committee having done its work, we request that you work quickly and closely with all Senators to ensure the confirmation of Doug McKalip as soon as possible. We appreciate your consideration and stand ready to support you in any way we can.


Aequor Inc

Agri Beef Co.

Agribusiness Association of Iowa

Agri-Mark, Inc.

AgTrade Strategies LLC


American Farm Bureau Federation

American Feed Industry Association

American Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Growers Coalition

American Peanut Council

American Seed Trade Association

American Sheep Industry Association

American Soybean Association

American Vanguard Corporation

Animal Health Institute

Associated Milk Producers Inc.


Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

California Dairies, Inc.

California Walnut Commission

Cayuga Milk Ingredients

Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports


Colorado Dairy Farmers

Continental Dairy Facilities LLC

Corn Refiners Association

Corteva Agriscience

CropLife America

Dairy Farmers of America

DairyAmerica, Inc


Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

Douglas Products

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative

Farmers for Free Trade

Fernjo Farms

The Fertilizer Institute

FMI -the Food Industry Association

Foremost Farms USA

Fresh Produce Association of the Americas

Global Cold Chain Alliance

Grassland Dairy Products, INC.

Growth Energy

Idaho Dairymen’s Association, Inc.

International Dairy Foods Association

International Ingredient Corporation

Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Leather and Hide Council of America

Leprino Foods

MCT Dairies,Inc

MDVA Milk Producers

Meat Import Council of America

Michigan Milk Producers Association

Midwest Dairy Coalition

Milk Specialties Global

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture

National Association of Wheat Growers

National Barley Growers Association

National Cotton Council

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

National Grain and Feed Association

National Milk Producers Federation

National Oilseed Processors Association

National Pork Producers Council

National Potato Council

National Sorghum Producers

National Turkey Federation

North American Meat Institute

North American Renderers Association

North Dakota Corn Growers Association

North Dakota Grain Growers Association

Northarvest Bean Growers Association

Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperatives (NDFC)

Northwest Dairy Association/Darigold

Northwest Horticultural Council


Oregon Dairy Farmers Association

Organic Produce Association

Pet Food Institute


Reckitt – Mead Johnson Nutrition

Sartori Company

Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Sweetener Users Association


U.S. Apple Association

U.S. Canola Association

U.S. Dairy Export Council

U.S. Durum Growers Association

U.S. Pea & Lentil Trade Association

U.S. Rice Producers Association

U.S. Wheat Associates

United Dairymen of Arizona

USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council

USA Poultry & Egg Export Council

USA Rice

Walnut Ridge Dairy, LLC

Washington State Potato Commission

Western Growers

William Westman & Associates LLC

Wine Institute

World Perspectives, Inc.