Chief Ag Negotiator hearing a long time coming
The Senate Finance Committee will begin its hearing to consider the nomination of Douglas McKalip as the next chief ag negotiator Thursday.
Kent Bacus with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says it’s a long time coming. “Not having a chief ag negotiator for the last couple of years has really put us at a disadvantage,” he says. “We need to be at the table. Agriculture is a fundamental part of all US trade policy. It has been for a long time. You talk about food security and supply chains — you have to have an advocate in that position.”
He tells Brownfield having a designated person to focus on ag in the US Trade Representative’s office is critical for advancing any trade deal. But, it doesn’t end with McKalip’s confirmation. “We also need to see Alexis Taylor’s nomination move forward,” he says. “Because we need an undersecretary for trade. We need someone who is going to lead that army of technical experts at USDA to help us troubleshoot a lot of issues before they become problems on the international front. That’s really what that position is designed to do.”
McKalip’s hearing begins Thursday, July 28 at 10:15 Eastern.
Bacus spoke with Brownfield during the 2022 Cattle Industry Convention in Reno, Nevada.
AUDIO: Kent Bacus, NCBA