General Electric Moving 500 Jobs Overseas Due to Lack of Ex-Im Funds

GE is second largest beneficiary of Ex-Im Bank after Boeing

General Electric
General Electric plant in Belfort, eastern France / AP

General Electric Co. (GE) has announced that they will move 500 jobs overseas due to a lack of Export-Import Bank financing, Freedom Partners reported.

GE is the second largest beneficiary of the Ex-Im bank, receiving $2.6 billion in assistance in fiscal year 2013.

"Our customers rely on export credit agencies, like U.S. Ex-Im, to finance their critical power projects," said Jeff Connelly, supply chain vice president for GE Power & Water.

"While our preference is to continue producing power generation equipment in our best U.S. factories, without customer access to the U.S. Ex-Im bank, we have no choice but to move our work to places that will offer export credit financing of these projects."

GE says they have secured financing from a French export credit agency that will move the U.S.-based jobs into Europe.

Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, said only five years ago that the company was big enough that it couldn’t use the excuse of lack of government from not producing anywhere.

Immelt was asked, "Are there places where, because you have found it much harder to do business than it might otherwise have been because we don’t have the same kind of national interest that you see in Germany and you see in Italy. Many countries, the government takes a much more direct hand in promoting exports."

Immelt responded confidently about his business saying, "Our company is big enough that we can never use that as an excuse. You know, in other words, GE should never use as an excuse that we couldn’t go someplace because the government wasn’t there."

Yet, the company now is pleading with Congress to reauthorize the bank. "We call on Congress to promptly reauthorize Ex-Im," states John Rice, vice chairman of GE. "The truth is that Ex-Im supports thousands of U.S. jobs and has returned $7 billion to the U.S. Treasury over the last 20 years—a rare government program that supports the economy while cutting the deficit."

"How’s this for corporate social responsibility?" asked James Davis, Freedom Partners’ spokesman. "General Electric is demanding that hardworking American taxpayers fork over their money to boost the company’s profits. Not only that, it plans to hold jobs hostage until its demands are met. Ex-Im is its ransom."