FOIA regarding General Electric’s lobbying of USTR to oppose WIPO Treaty for the Blind.

We just received a reply from a September 17, 2013 FOIA request KEI filed with USTR, asking for correspondence involving General Electric’s efforts to block the WIPO Treaty for the Blind. USTR provided 24 pages of documents, available here:


One item I noticed was GE asking Peter Kaldes, then Director for International Economic Affairs for the White House National Security Council, for help. Kaldes now works for JPMorgan Chase. GE was also appealing to Carl Schonander from State, now Senior Director of International Public Policy, for the Software & Information Industry Association.

GE played a critical role in getting the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) and the US Chamber to oppose the treaty for the blind. Another key official lobbyed by GE (documented more fully in separate USPTO and State FOIAs), was Robert Hormats, then at State, now Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates.

GE was working with the the Alliance for Clean Technology Innovation, which was co-chaired by Thaddeus Burns of GE and Patricia Sherman of Siemens, and also included ExxonMobile, 3M, Dupont & Philips.

Among those in the GE correspondence were Thaddeus Burns and Karan Bhatia, both of whom had earlier worked for USTR. Karan Bhatia claims to have lead the US negotiations on the US/Korea FTA, and to have negotiated an agreement with Vietnam for the terms of Vietnam’s accession to the WTO.