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Published: Tue, September 29, 2015
Economy | By Melissa Porter

General Electric to Relocate Gas Engine Production


GE will invest $265 million in Canada for a new state-of-the-art Brilliant Factory with manufacturing capacity for multiple business lines including Power and Water, Oil and Gas and Transportation.

"We know these announcements will have regrettable impact not only on our employees but on the hundreds of US suppliers we work with that can notmove their facilities, but we can’t walk away from our customers", GE Vice Chairman John Rice said in a statement.

The new facility will allow for future expansion and be invited to handle manufacturing requirements of GE's other industrial businesses.

That move would bring an end to the manufacturing of orange gas engines in Waukesha.

HAMLIN U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, held a press conference last week at the GE Aviation EPISCenter calling on Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

GE is presently bidding on $11 billion USA of projects that require export financing and the company noted that last year the EDC facilitated exports and investments of approximately $100 billion Canadian.

Export financing deals, like those GE has secured in the past from the Ex-Im Bank, are required as part of a formal bid on many major projects that GE competes for, company officials say. However, we must prepare for the worst case and arrange export finance outside the U.S. Unfortunately, this will come at the expense of American jobs.

Most of the 350 employees are represented by the worldwide Association of Machinists. "In a slow growth and volatile world, we must go where the markets are and compete in over 170 countries", Rice said.

"We continue to urge Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank for all American companies", Rice said.

Union spokesperson Frank Larkin said the U.S. Export-Import Bank "was one of those rare government programs that worked as intended; it protected American jobs and returned a profit to the U.S. Treasury". At stake is whether conservatives can prevent re-authorizing an agency that offers credit and loan guarantees to foreign customers buying USA goods.

The facility, to open in about 20 months, can be expanded to provide flexible manufacturing capacity to support other GE businesses, including engines for railroad locomotives, GE said.

 

"Let's face it, you've got a system in the United States now where a significant majority of the members of Congress can support something and it won't move forward because of the perspective of the few and the money behind that perspective", he said, referring to outside conservative groups that have been calling for EXIM to be closed permanently.

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