Background

USDA Official Nominated as New USTR Agriculture Negotiator

President Biden announced June 8 his intention to nominate Doug McKalip as chief agriculture negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. McKalip currently serves as senior advisor to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on all agricultural matters relating to trade, national security, animal and plant health regulations, and other domestic and international issues. He formerly served in a leadership capacity in USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Biotechnology Regulatory Services.

Vilsack said McKalip has been a “key agriculture policy official” for nearly three decades and “has worked on every aspect of farming from soil conservation and the supply chain to dealing with sensitive trade and national security matters.” USTR Katherine Tai added that if confirmed McKalip will “join a leadership team sharply focused” on disruptions to the global supply of commodities caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine as well as “help build on USTR and USDA’s work to expand market access for U.S. farmers, producers, ranchers, and exporters.”

Imports of Sage, Papaya Under Consideration

APHIS is considering separate requests to authorize the importation of sage from Guatemala and  papaya from Brazil into the U.S. for consumption. APHIS has drafted pest risk assessments that list the potential pests likely to remain on these commodities upon importation if no mitigation is applied. Comments on these assessments, including information that might lead APHIS to revise its assessments before identifying pest mitigations and proceeding with the commodity import approval process, are due by July 6.

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