Doug McKalip awaits Chief Ag Negotiator confirmation; what he will face with trade deficit
The Senate Finance Committee is meeting to approve or reject Doug McKalip as the Chief Ag Negotiator.
Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon says Mr. McKalip meets the requirements for the job.
“This is an extremely important position and Mr. McKalip is certainly qualified for this job. There is no doubt that he’ll be ready to step in and succeed as Chief Ag Negotiator on day one,” said Wyden.
Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho says McKalip will have a crucial position, and what that he supports.
“Today we are voting on Doug McKalip, a nominee who if confirmed will play a critical role in opening opportunities for our farmers. Our farmers need these opportunities more than ever in the face of record inflation. I intend to support him. Although I’m disappointed that the Administration has not prioritized agricultural market access, including by taking too long to fill this position, I appreciate that the nominee recognizes the importance of opening foreign markets to our farmers,” said Crapo.
If confirmed, he will take the role as the U.S. looks at a $3 billion trade deficit after two years of a surplus. Last year, we saw an ag trade surplus of about $9.5 billion. This year, the surplus came in at around $4 billion. USDA Chief Economist, Seth Meyer says this is not necessarily something to worry about just yet.
“We’re exporting the things that we’re really good at and we’re importing the things that we want to import from overseas. Maybe that’s a specific cheese you like or maybe that’s a counter-seasonal product where I can get grapes at a time of year that an American agricultural producer doesn’t have them. So the Economist in me says trade deficit alone is neither good nor bad,” said Meyer.
Meyer says U.S. ag saw a trade deficit in both 2019 and 2020, with no serious consequences.