GE CEO praises Trump for Export-Import Bank support


General Electric Chairman Jeff Immelt praised President Trump on Thursday for showing “great leadership” by voicing support for the Export-Import Bank. 

Trump denounced the Ex-Im Bank on the campaign trail, but he reversed his position during an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. 

{mosads}”I was very much opposed to Ex-Im Bank, because I said what do we need that for IBM and for General Electric and all these — it turns out that, first of all lots of small companies will really be helped, the vendor companies, but also maybe more importantly, other countries give it,” Trump told the newspaper.

“And when other countries give it, we lose a tremendous amount of business. So instinctively you would say it’s a ridiculous thing, but actually it’s a very good thing and it actually makes money. You know, it actually could make a lot of money,” he continued.

GE is a major exporter and Immelt, who is also the CEO, supports globalization and free markets in order to increase trade.

“To be clear, our preference is for multilateralism and free trade,” Immelt wrote to GE shareholders in February. “But in this period of nationalization, GE’s competitive advantage will grow. We don’t need trade deals, because we have a superior global footprint. We can export from multiple countries that give us access to their funding.”

GE exports $20 billion annually, according to the shareholder letter.

“We create great jobs here when we sell our products every place, and I think the president knows that,” Immelt told CNBC’s Jim Cramer in February.

He also expressed an openness to working with Trump in that interview. 

“I would say to the president, ‘Look, level the playing field,'” Immelt told Cramer. “We can take on any company in the world. Help us do that.”

Immelt also worked with former President Barack Obama, leading Obama’s council on jobs and competitiveness.

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