BUSH TAPS LEONARD AT CITA
Byline: Kristi Ellis
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has appointed Jim Leonard, a textile industry insider, as the Commerce Department’s deputy assistant secretary of textiles, apparel and consumer goods, filling a position that had remained vacant for over a year.
Leonard, who was sworn into office Monday, spent the past year as a consultant to the textile industry, but is best known in Washington as a 34-year Burlington Industries veteran who assisted the company’s lobbyists here on trade legislation in his position as manager of economic analysis and director of government relations.
Leonard’s appointment comes at a time when the administration is looking to demonstrate support for the textile industry and as several Republican House lawmakers are under fire for votes on Bush trade issues.
His position will take center stage as the U.S. phases out all quotas by Jan. 1, 2005. Leonard will also chair the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, an interagency group which supervises the implementation of all textile and apparel trade pacts arranged by the special textile negotiator. CITA also administers the phaseout of textile and apparel quotas on WTO countries.
“I came from one side of that, but I was certainly exposed to the other side,” said Leonard in an interview. “I know a lot of people and issues and feel this office can work closely with both sides.”