“President Biden’s announcement provides a much-awaited and needed voice for agricultural trade concerns within the USTR and White House.”
AFIA President and CEO, Constance Cullman, reacting to the impending nomination, said McKalip’s experience working at the White House and advising for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes him an ideal candidate for representing and advocating on behalf of US agricultural interests to expand export opportunities and maintain US competitiveness in the global marketplace.
She said the US feed sector anticipates engaging with the nominee to leverage opportunities to tackle trade barriers and open new markets for the industry.
The US animal food manufacturing industry relies heavily on trade. In 2021, US animal feed and pet food manufacturers exported over $7.5bn in products, including $5.5bn in feed and feed ingredients and $2bn in pet food products, a 22% increase in value over 2020, according to data from the AFIA.
To date, the largest trading partners for the US feed sector would be Canada, Mexico, and Japan. “In terms of the top three markets, those have been pretty consistent for the past few years,” the organization told this publication last year.
Last month, the association endorsed the nomination of Alexis Taylor as the USDA’s undersecretary of trade and foreign agricultural affairs.
Many other leading ag groups in the US also applauded that move, including the US Dairy Export Council, the National Corn Growers, National Association of Wheat Growers and the American Soybean Association. The role had been vacant since President Biden took office.