For Immediate Release
Nathan White (202)225-5871
GE’s Immelt Advises President on Jobs and Competiveness, Exports Jobs and Technology to China
Under Immelt, GE Cuts one-fifth of U.S. Work Force; Sells China Advanced Aerospace Tech NASA Originated
WASHINGTON - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today called upon General Electric’s Chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Immelt to resign from his position as head of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Kucinich’s statement came in response to news reports that, in exchange for short-term profit, GE is sending advanced technology to China that was originally created by NASA.
"If he does not resign, the White House should remove him," Kucinich said.
“As 14 million Americans struggle with unemployment, General Electric, under Mr. Immelt’s leadership, is exporting highly-sophisticated technology to the Chinese in order to book short-term profits for GE. GE strives mightily to avoid paying federal income taxes, but goes ‘all in’ on a deal to transfer U.S. government-subsidized technology to the Chinese. Jeffrey Immelt has a conflict of interest. He cannot ethically advise the President on how to create American jobs and promote American competiveness, while at the same time leading a company that is exporting American technology and, along with it, American jobs,” said Kucinich.
A report in Monday’s Washington Post described the transfer of a virtual reality display system for airplane cockpits that GE is transferring to the Chinese as part of its joint venture with a Chinese state-owned company. The display system GE is transferring was originally developed using Synthetic Vision technology created by NASA in partnership with private industry. NASA has committed millions of dollars to pursue development of synthetic vision systems.
Kucinich added, “American taxpayers subsidized the development of this advanced technology, but U.S. taxpayers’ investment will end up creating jobs in China. In the short term, GE is selling products to the Chinese, which will help GE’s bottom line. In the long term, the Chinese will end up manufacturing and selling products using the same technologies that were made in America.”
“The United States has long been the leader in aerospace development and manufacturing. We have the best-trained, most skilled workers which give American-made aerospace products a natural competitive advantage. How can Mr. Immelt be the head of the President’s ‘Jobs and Competiveness Council’ while undermining the United State’s advantage in aerospace?” asked Kucinich. "In light of these revelations, Mr. Immelt should save the President the embarrassment of asking him to step down and voluntarily resign."
GE has aggressively sought to cut the percentage of its American profits paid to the I.R.S., paying just a third of the average taxes paid by other American multinational companies. In 2000, 54% of General Electric's employees worked in the U.S. That number dropped to 46% in 2010. Since Mr. Immelt assumed office on September 7, 2001, GE has cut one-fifth of its U.S. work force while increasing overseas employment.
"Obviously he is more qualified to be head of ‘Jobs and Competitiveness’ for a country other than the United States," Kucinich concluded.