Karan Bhatia

Vice President and Senior Counsel, International Law & Policy
General Electric


Karan Bhatia serves as Vice President and Senior Counsel, International Law & Policy, for General Electric. In this role, he oversees GE’s engagement on public policy issues with governments around the world, and works to expand the company’s presence in global markets.

Before joining GE, Bhatia served as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, a Presidential appointment with the rank of Ambassador, overseeing U.S. trade policy with respect to Asia and Africa. Specific achievements include negotiating the landmark U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, concluding the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral WTO Accession Agreement, founding the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, and supervising the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. Additionally, Bhatia oversaw USTR’s engagement in the areas of trade capacity building and international environmental and labor policy and served on the boards of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Prior to joining the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Bhatia was Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation from 2003-2005. In this role, he crafted U.S. international and domestic aviation policy, and supervised the negotiation of international air services agreements with more than 20 countries, including significant market liberalizing agreements with China and India.

Bhatia previously served in the Department of Commerce as Deputy Under Secretary and Chief Counsel for the Bureau of Industry and Security, the U.S. Government agency that administers U.S. export controls. Prior to his government service, he was a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, where he was a member of the firm’s international and corporate groups.

Bhatia has written and spoken widely on international trade and transportation policy, and has testified on many occasions before Congress. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the National Center for APEC, and is a member of the Boards of the National Foreign Trade Council, the US-ASEAN Business Council, and the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy. Bhatia holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s from the London School of Economics, and a law degree from Columbia University. He is married to Sara Levine Bhatia and has two children.

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