Senate confirms Biden’s ag trade negotiator, USDA food safety chief

The Senate confirmed Thursday that USDA adviser Doug McCallip is the Biden administration’s chief agricultural trade manager, a day after a leading Senate Democrat lifted his hold on the nomination.

In a flurry of last-minute confirmations, the Senate also approved the nomination of Jose Emilio Esteban to become the USDA’s undersecretary for food safety. and has been with the department since 2001.

Both nominations were approved by voice vote.

On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Alexis Taylor as the Department of Agriculture’s Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, confirming the second key agricultural trade nominee.

McCallip’s confirmation of his appointment to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative comes two years after an administration that has disappointed some farm groups and lawmakers who want the White House to open up markets more aggressively. later.

At his confirmation hearing in July, McKalip reiterated fighting to increase US agricultural export opportunities Even if he’s not negotiating new trade deals.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez later resorted to McCalyp to obtain assurances from U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai that the administration’s trade policies served the economic interests of the United States. held out. However, Menendez said Wednesday afternoon when a spokesperson said:A productive meeting with Thailand”.

Darryl Cates, president of the American Soybean Association, welcomed McCullip and Taylor’s endorsement.

Their responsibilities in these roles, and the way they work with farmers to support trade, markets, etc., are integral to their day-to-day work on the farm and impact all farm states in the country. Statement .

According to Mike Seyfert, president and CEO of the National Grain and Feed Association, McCallip said:NGFA members are well suited to lead this role so that U.S. agriculture is better represented and promoted in trade negotiations around the world. “

McKalip has held many positions with the USDA, most recently as an advisor to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. On trade, national security, animal and plant health regulations, and other issues.

Esteban has also held various laboratory roles at FSIS, including Executive Associate of Laboratory Services and Laboratory Director of the Western Laboratory. He has also served as an epidemic information service officer, staff epidemiologist, and deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Food Safety Administration.

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