|Born||Karan K. Bhatia
|Alma mater||Columbia Law School
London School of Economics
|Occupation||Vice President and Senior Counsel, General Electric|
|Known for||Deputy Trade Representative
Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs
Karan Bhatia is an American Attorney and former senior official in the Bush Administration. He was the Deputy U.S. Trade Representative from 2005 to 2007, credited with leading the negotiation of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Additional appointments include Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs where he served from 2003 to 2005 and Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security from 2001 to 2003. He served a total of six years in the Bush Administration before returning to the private sector in 2008.
Early life and education
Bhatia's family is originally from Uttar Pradesh, but he was born in Washington D.C. His father is a retired official for the World Bank and of Indian descent, moving to the United States in the 1960s. His mother is English and retired as well. He attended Princeton where he received a Bachelor's degree in International Relations. He went on to earn his Master's degree from the London School of Economics prior to attending law school at Columbia University School of Law.
Bhatia clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Milton Pollack upon graduating from law school. Bhatia was a former partner with the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. He was the firm's administrative partner for its international aviation and defense practice area as well as a member of its international and corporate groups. Bhatia also worked many pro bono cases including representing victims of the Oklahoma City bombing during the trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. In addition to his work as an attorney, Bhatia was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center where he co-taught international civil litigation from 1999 until 2003.
Department of Commerce
Bhatia began working at the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2001 as chief counsel for export control administration. Bhatia was appointed in 2002 to the position of Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for the Bureau of Industry and Security. He was the second Indian American in the Bush Administration to hold such a senior level position, after Bobby Jindal. His duties at the Department included assisting then-Under Secretary Kenneth I. Juster in overseeing the management and policy-making within the Bureau of Industry and Security.
U.S Department of Transportation
Bhatia was nominated by President George W. Bush in September 2003 for the position of Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs. During his time at the Department, he was the key international policy advisor to Secretary Norman Mineta. He was involved with negotiating international air services agreements on behalf of the United States, including the air route agreement between the US Department of Transportation and the Civil Aviation Administration of China that allowed both the United States and China to increase the amount of air travel between the two countries.
Deputy U.S. Trade Representative
In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated Bhatia to the position of Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, a position that holds the rank of Ambassador. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate in October 2005. During his time in appointment, Bhatia oversaw the negotiation of the U.S. - Korea Free Trade Agreement, the first free trade agreement between the United States and a major Asian economy. He also led U.S. negotiations with Vietnam on the U.S. - Vietnam Bilateral WTO Accession Agreement which allowed American companies to have more access to the Vietnamese marketplace. He also signed the agreement on behalf of the United States.
It was announced that Bhatia would be leaving the U.S Trade Representative's Office and returning to the private sector, becoming the Vice President and Senior Counsel of International Law & Policy for General Electric in 2008.
Bhatia is married (Sara) and has two children.
- "Ambassador Karan K. Bhatia – Deputy United States Trade Representative". Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- "Schwab Announces Department of Deputy USTR Karan Bhatia" (Press release). Office of the United States Trade Representative. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Ewing, Jack (25 November 2012). "Trade Deal Between U.S. and Europe May Come to the Forefront". New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Haniffa, Aziz (21 June 2002). "Bush appoints Karan Bhatia to Department of Commerce post". India Abroad (HighBeam). Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- "USTR Portman Praises Senate for Swift Confirmation of Nominees" (Press release). Office of the United States Trade Representative. 28 October 2005. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Haniffa, Aziz (18 July 2003). "Bush nominates Karan Bhatia to top transportation post". India Abroad (HighBeam). Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- Haniffa, Aziz (23 September 2005). "Karan Bhatia named for deputy USTR". India Abroad (HighBeam). Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Haniffa, Aziz (24 December 2004). "Let’s have an open sky, appeals Karan Bhatia". India Abroad (HighBeam). Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Ruwitch, John (26 July 2004). "China, US Sign Agreement to Expand Air Traffic Fourfold". Manila Bulletin (HighBeam). Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Malhotrta, Ashok (14 September 2005). "NRI Karan Bhatia appointed Deputy US Trade Representative". NRI Internet. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "Karan Bhatia joins US trade delegation". Economic Times. 13 November 2005. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "South Korea and U.S. reach free trade agreement". International Herald Tribune (World Security Network). 2 April 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "Vietnam and U.S. sign pact". The New York Times. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Tran, Tini (31 May 2006). "U.S., Vietnam Remove Last Trade Barriers". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "Bhatia Named GE VP & Senior Counsel, International Law And Policy". HighBeam. 12 March 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2013.