USTR FOIA, 127 pages of emails between industry and USTR TPP negotiators

Earlier this year, IP-Watch submitted two FOIA requests to USTR about the TPP negotiation. I am attaching two letters from USTR to IP-Watch about the FOIAs, and a file with 127 pages of emails between USTR and various industry lobbyists. (USTR provided KEI with copies of the files provdied to IP-Watch as part a separate KEI FOIA to USTR regarding communications involving the TPP).

A lot has clearly been withheld by USTR. According to USTR's June 19, 2013 letter to IP-Watch

"We agreed to search for communications between USTR and the members the ITACs you identified above and to segregate any releasable communications from those that qualify for protection under FOIA exemption (b)(5) as deliberative communications and/or exemption (b)(4) which shields third party commercial and/or financial information from disclosure. Accordingly, We conducted a detailed review of email messages and attachments and located two hundred ninety-eight (298) responsive emails/ attachments. Of these, we are releasing in part seventy-seven (77) emails/attachments amounting to one hundred and twenty-seven (127) pages of electronic correspondence. . . .We are withholding the remaining two hundred twenty-one (221) emails/attachments in full as deliberative process under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5) with thirteen (13) of these emails also Withheld under 5 USC. 552(b)(4) as business confidential."

The emails that were released by USTR do not reveal much in terms of the substantive positions. But they are impossible to read and not appreciate the massive access by the Industry to the negotiation through USTR.

Finally, keep in mind, the IP-Watch FOIA only covered TPP emails involving members of the USTR Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITAC) for Intellectual Property Rights, the members of the ITAC for Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Health Science Products and Services, and the ITAC on Services and Finance Industries. Not covered by the FOIA are the army of lobbyists that do not serve on those three ITACs.


Annex

The following are agencies, associations, firms and names metioned in the emails. The FOIA was limited to communications involving USTR and members of three advisory boards, but includes some names that were copied in the email exchange. There is considerable turnover in the agencies and trade associations, and not everyone still works for the aegency or trade association.

US government agencies

USTR

  • Barbara Weisel
  • Daniel Lee
  • Daniel L. Watson
  • David f. Bisbee
  • Demetrios J. Marantis
  • Elizabeth Kendall
  • Eric G. Altbach. Now with the Albright Stonebridge Group
  • George York
  • Holly Smith
  • Jared W. Ragland
  • Jeffrey Nii
  • Joseph P Whitlock
  • Karl R.Ehlers
  • Kira Alvarez
  • Michael Diehl
  • Paula C. Karol Pinha
  • Probir J. Mehta
  • Rachael Bae
  • Renee Berry
  • Rhonda Lindsay
  • Ron Kirk
  • Stanford McCoy
  • Wendy Cutler

DOC

  • Jennifer Ness
  • Jennifer Boger
  • Maureen Pettis
  • Jeff Weiss

International Trade Administration

  • Andrea Cornwell

US International Trade Commission

  • Donnette R. Rimmer

USPTO

  • Peter Fowler
  • Susan Anthony
  • Jacqueline Morales

State

  • JoEllen Urban
  • Jean A Bonilla
  • Philip Matthew Ingeneri
  • David J Drinkard
  • Meredith L. Champlin
  • M G Coppola
  • J G Speck
  • J C Chambers

US Department of Justice

  • Kendra Ervin. Formerly McKinsey.

DHS

  • Paul Pizzeck

US Copyright Office

  • Maria Strong. Formerly represented IIPA.
  • Molly Torsen Stech
  • Abioye Oyewole

Trade Associations

PhRMA

  • Jay Taylor. Formerly USTR.
  • Richard Kjeldgaard (left Pharma in 2013, for his own consulting firm).
  • Leo A. Farber
  • Jennifer Osika. Formerly with US Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. House of Representatives - Rep. Donald Manzullo.
  • Neil Pratt

BIO

  • Joseph Damond. Formerly with USTR, PhRMA, Pfizer.
  • Lila Feisee. Formerly USPTO, NIH.

AdvaMed

  • Ralph Ives. Formerly with USTR.
  • Takeda Hiroki
  • Philip Agress. Formerly, DOC.

Semiconductor Industry Association

  • Ian Steff. Formerly, staff member of the House Ways and Means Committee, under Bill Thomas (CA) and Trade Subcommittee Chairmen E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (FL) and Phil Crane (IL).

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA)

  • Eric Smith

RIAA

  • Neil Turkewitz
  • Joe Papovich. Formerly with USTR.
  • Cary Sherman

Motion Picture Association

  • Name redacted

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

  • Gina Vetere. Fromerly with USTR and DOC. Now with Covington & Burling.
  • Steven Tepp. Formerly with US Copyright Office.

Entertainment Software Association (ESA)

  • Stevan Mitchell

GPhA

  • Shawn Brown. Now with Watson Pharmaceuticals.

Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA)

  • Susan Cleary
  • Jean Prewit

Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC)

  • John Neuffer
  • Ryan Hill. Now represents Research In Motion.

Croplife

  • Doug Nelson
  • Siang Hee Tan
  • Vasant Patil
  • Michelle Orfei (now: Director, Global Affairs at American Chemistry Council)

Firms

Abbott

  • Claude Burcky. Formerly with USTR.

GE

  • Tanuja Garde. Formerly with USTR.

Medtronic

  • Trevor Gunn. Formerly, DOC.

Sidney Austin

  • Jeffrey P Kushan. Formerly USPTO.

Romulus

  • John Stubbs. Formerly USTR.

ATT

  • Jake E. Jennings

Wiley Rein

  • Timothy Brightbill

Merck

  • Joseph Anthony Imler

Robert Branand International

  • Robert E. Branand

News reports and blogs

Timothy B. Lee, E-mails show cozy relationship between Obama trade negotiators and industry groups, November 29, 2013, WashingtonPost.Com.

Michael Masnick, Lobbyist Insists His Meeting About 'TPP IP Issues' Wasn't About TPP IP Issues: from the pants-on-fire dept, December 2, 2013. TechDirt.Com

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IP Watch-3-19-13-Response.pdf85.56 KB
IPWatch-6-19-13-Response.pdf85.6 KB
IP-WATCH-Final-Release.pdf2.32 MB