General Electric has been anything but shy when it comes to voicing its concern and disapproval over U.S. lawmakers’ decision to halt lending operations by the federal Export-Import Bank, a government body that provides trade financing to overseas buyers of U.S. manufacturers.
GE has taken action to combat the Ex-Im shutdown through political moves, but now the company is making a strategic move that some say highlights how impactful an Ex-Im closure is.
On Thursday (Sept. 24), the Financial Times reported that GE will be moving a significant portion of its operations to the U.K. GE announced Thursday that it struck a deal with the U.K.’s version of Ex-Im, UK Export Finance, to fuel funding for companies that place orders with GE across the globe. The work to fulfill those orders will be done in the U.K., reports said, and the venture will lead to 1,000 new jobs in the nation’s energy industry.
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"In today’s competitive environment, countries that have a functional Export Credit Agency will attract investment,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt in a statement announcing the new deal. “Export finance is a critical tool we use to support our customers. Without it, we can’t compete against foreign competitors who enjoy ECA financing from their governments."
The collaboration with U.K. financers follows just weeks after the manufacturer said it plans to move 500 U.S. jobs outside the nation because of the Ex-Im shutdown. The company also said that it struck a deal with French trade financing body COFACE to fuel buyer funding for GE products.