General Electric (NYSE:GE) Co said on Thursday it reached an understanding with Britain’s export credit bureau for up to $12 billion in funding, potentially creating as many as 1,000 jobs in the country.
The deal is the most recent indication of U.S. exporters’ unhappiness at the winding down of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which loaned money to foreign customers of U.S. exporters. Its charter lapsed on June 30 after conservatives in the U.S. Congress cast it as a supporter of “crony capitalism.”
GE is already shifting jobs abroad due to the shortage of U.S. export financing and plane-maker Boeing (NYSE:BA) Co, the biggest U.S. exporter, has threatened to do the same.
GE said on Thursday its deal with UK Export Finance, a UK Agency, would support orders for gas and petroleum and other energy projects in Brazil, Ghana, India, Mozambique and other nations. The positions are dependent on GE successfully gaining these contracts.
Just last week, GE mentioned the lack of Ex-Im funding when it announced plans to switch upwards to 500 U.S. electricity-turbine production occupations to Europe and China. In addition, it ceased contemplating U.S. regions for a new development center for turboprop engines, choosing Europe instead.
GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt has been actively campaigning on Ex-Im, telling reporters lately that more U.S. jobs are likely to move abroad unless the bank is restored.
GE has previously said it was seeking funding from other export credit bureaus to save a $350 million locomotive deal with Angola that’s lost access to Ex-Im support. That deal entailed 100 diesel-electric locomotives to be built in Erie, Pennsylvania.
“In today’s competitive environment, countries that have a functional export credit agency (ECA) will attract investment,” Immelt said in a statement. “Export financing is an essential tool we utilize to support our clients. Without it, we can not compete against foreign rivals who have ECA funding from their governments.”
Boeing Co Chairman Jim McNerney has said the planet ‘s largest aircraft manufacturer is actively looking at transferring “key bits” of its operations to other nations, given uncertainty about the future of the Ex-Im Bank.
The president of the biggest U.S. aerospace trade group told Reuters last week that more firms are contemplating moving plants abroad due to concerns over Ex-Im.