A Wall Street Journal story today provides a misleading account of GE’s relationship with a supplier to our Energy business. The report is based on second-hand and inaccurate claims made by a union leader in a letter to GE.
The letter claims that GE’s wind business cancelled an order with a supplier, Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI), over price issues, resulting in job losses at ATI. That claim is false. As the Journal was told, GE was engaged in commercial negotiations with ATI and made a good faith effort to do business with them but negotiations broke down over terms and conditions, not price.
Being part of a global company, GE Energy sells technology all over the world, which results in manufacturing jobs in Schenectady, New York; Greenville, South Carolina; and Houston, Texas. In addition, GE Energy purchased more than $7 billion in goods and services from U.S. suppliers in 2008. These GE purchases support thousands of jobs across the country.
GE recently announced several new manufacturing plants and operations in the U.S. that will provide an additional 1,000 new manufacturing jobs over the next few years. These plants will focus on next generation battery and home appliance technology.
Cleaner, smarter energy technology can be a source of jobs and economic growth for countries around the world. The free flow of products and services across borders will grow industries and create commercial opportunities. Protectionism will only serve to inhibit commercial activity, slow economic growth, and deter job creation.