Senate confirms McKalip, Taylor to federal posts

By Erin Voegele | January 03, 2023

The U.S. Senate in late December confirmed nominees to fill two federal posts critical to agriculture trade. Doug McKalip was confirmed on Dec. 22 as chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Alexis Taylor was confirmed on Dec. 21 as USDA under secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs.

McKalip has served as an agricultural policy leader and trade expert with the federal government for approximately 30 years, most recently serving as a senior advisor Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We welcome and are very much looking forward to working with Doug McKalip in his pivotal role,” said the U.S. Grains Council in a Dec. 23 statement. “Combining his extensive international experience and more than 28 years of government service at the USDA, his strong background in farm and trade policy and his knowledge of biotechnology will be very helpful to advance trade priorities and open markets for U.S. corn, sorghum, barley and co-products.”

Taylor previously served as director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture and deputy under secretary for farm and foreign agricultural services under President Obama. “Alexis Taylor has a deep-rooted and impressive career working on matters related to agriculture, trade, and enhancing export opportunities for American farmers,” Vilsack said in a statement released Dec. 29. “She has not only spent her career serving the American people through her work in U.S. agricultural and trade policy, but also as a Veteran of the U.S. Army. I am confident Alexis is the right person to lead as we continue to address global food security challenges, promote American exports across the globe, and strengthen trade relationships with our global partners. I look forward to working with Alexis to further USDA’s mission to better serve farmers and ranchers and link U.S. agriculture producers to expanded global market opportunities."