The CEO of General Electric is using scare tactics to preserve his government-funded competitive advantage, using U.S. jobs as leverage to continue the special financing GE receives from the crony Export-Import Bank.
General Electric will switch from exporting goods to exporting jobs if Congress does not reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, CEO Jeffrey Immelt warns.
During a speech in Washington Wednesday, Immelt claimed Ex-Im financing is critical to GE’s ability to manufacture in America, and the company would have no choice but to relocate its production facilities if Congress allows the bank’s charter to expire June 30, The Financial Times reports.
GE is America’s largest manufacturer and second-biggest exporter, employing about 136,000 workers in the U.S., some of whom participated in a company-organized rally supporting Ex-Im earlier this week in North Carolina.
GE is also a major beneficiary of Ex-Im financing. Between 2007 and 2014, GE received $8.3 billion from Ex-Im, which is second only to Boeing’s share and represents 4.4 percent of the bank’s total authorizations over that period, according to research by Mercatus Center fellow Veronique de Rugy.
GE and Boeing don’t need any help from the U.S. government to succeed in the global marketplace. Jeff Immelt is once again playing politics, holding jobs hostage until he can shake down the government for more money and more special deals. It’s time to end the Ex-Im Bank, and force big business to play by the same rules as everybody else.