“President Biden’s announcement provides a long-awaited and needed voice for agricultural trade concerns within the USTR and the White House.”
AFIA President and CEO Constance Cullman, reacting to the impending appointment, said McKalip’s experience working in the White House and advising the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes him an ideal candidate to represent and advocate on behalf of US agricultural interests to expand export opportunities and maintain US competitiveness in the global marketplace.
She said the US feed industry plans to engage with the nominee to take advantage of opportunities to tackle trade barriers and open new markets for the industry.
The US pet food manufacturing industry is highly dependent on trade. In 2021, U.S. pet food and pet food manufacturers exported more than $7.5 billion worth of products, including $5.5 billion worth of pet food and pet food ingredients and $2 billion in pet food products, a 22% increase in value from 2020, according to AFIA data.
To date, the US feed industry’s main trading partners would be Canada, Mexico and Japan. “When it comes to the top three markets, these have been pretty consistent over the past few years,” the organization says this postLast year.
Last month, the association approved the appointment of Alexis Taylor as USDA’s Undersecretary of Commerce and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.
Many other leading agricultural groups in the United States also applauded the decision, including the US Dairy Export Council, the National Corn Growers, the National Association of Wheat Growers and the American Soybean Association. The post had been vacant since President Biden took office.