WASHINGTON — Former textile executive Gail Strickler is the leading candidate for the role of special textile negotiator in the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, sources said late last week.

This story first appeared in the August 24, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Historically, the textile negotiator has hammered out the apparel and textile details of trade agreements with counterparts from other countries.

Strickler is currently associate director at Philadelphia University’s Institute for Textile & Apparel Product Safety and a member of the Cotton Board. Strickler is a former owner of Saxon Textiles. She is also well known in the industry from her time with the Textile Distributor’s Association, which shut down in 2007.

Strickler could not be reached for comment. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office did not respond to requests for comment by press time Sunday.

Strickler’s name initially surfaced in April as a possible candidate for the deputy assistant secretary for textiles and apparel at the Commerce Department, a position that also chairs the interagency Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements. At the time, industry sources said she was widely seen as an experienced choice who would be well received.

The Commerce Department position will be filled by Kim Glas, former legislative director for Rep. Mike Michaud (D. Maine), this week, sources said.

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