Obama names Immelt head of new economic advisory council

On Friday, General Electric Chief Executive Jeffery Immelt announced in a Washington Post op-ed that President Obama had selected him to chair the new President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling that decision a “promising step” toward a fully recovered economy.

“Jeff is an excellent choice to lead this effort with his business experience and acumen, and understanding of global markets,” said Chamber President Thomas Donohue in a statement.

The Council will focus on creating jobs, boosting America’s global competitiveness, and improving and sustaining economic growth.

Donohue went on to say that the “ultimate test will not be the administration’s words and intentions, but its actions.” He noted that the council’s success will be based on regulatory restraint, expansion of free trade, reducing deficits and reining in spending, among other things.

But while the business community may be looking forward to working with Immelt, critics of the appointment say it’s nothing more than political posturing. Tom Borelli of the Free Enterprise Project told The Daily Caller that President Obama’s choice to appoint Immelt is “not about jobs creation but the 2012 election.”

“Obama needs to rally big business donors from companies such as General Electric,” said Borelli. “Obama and Immelt are mutually dependent on each other.”

Immelt’s appointment, however, is seen as the latest sign that the White House is looking to enhance its relationship with business. Recently, Obama named business executive Bill Daley as his chief of staff, reached a trade agreement with South Korea and promised in Wall Street Journal op-ed to review regulations.

The president also held a five-hour long summit last month with about 20 CEOs from companies such as Honeywell International and Duke Power.

The new Council replaces the existing President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB), which has been led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. PERAB was created to organize the administration’s response to the economic crisis, but its two-year mandate ends February 6.

  • dnking

    Being a CEO of a major corporation is the same as being a politician. Why are we not appointing some one who has actually created jobs to this panel. A successful entrepreneur would be a far better choice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wayne-Tallaksen/100000034959538 Wayne Tallaksen

    What a beautiful symbiotic relationship! Immelt gets all the government mandated subsidies sucking the blood money out of taxpayers to create a new energy future requiring higher prices per kilowatt hour which we will have no choice but forced to pay for all so! And Obama takes virtual control over all industry picking the winners and losers gaining dictator like status! And to think this will not destroy America is insane! Watch for the unrelenting attack on the use of our own fossil fuels,Immelt admitted for the Green Energy scam to work fossil fuels prices have to rise considerably! Obama would love to turn us in to China,the well to do ruling class and the enslaved masses!

  • Miguel Saavadera

    We need to Rico Immelt’s company: GE not only in bed with the government, but has medical, green, transportation, storage, entertainment, information etc., ALL combined … too Large, too cozy. Remember AT&T in the 80’s, break GE up into non-related or conjoined pieces…

  • bozsbusiness

    O’Reilly has been trying to alert the country to GE and Immelt for years. I think Bill has it right; shady dealings through subs with Iran, terrible performance of the stock at a cost of billions to pension funds and ordinary investors, etc.
    Why is the CofC endorsing this guy? MSNBC should be enough to bar him from any government appointment.
    Where are you Congress??

  • tikimike

    Has Immelt liquidated all his GE stock yet and resigned from GE completely? If not, there’s a clear conflict of interest and every government contract awarded to GE should be in question. This is Crony capitalism to the max!

  • I_Walk_Alone

    G.E. owned NBC”news” & MSNBC are the #1 sources in the biased, liberal “Main-Stream Media” for pro-Obama propaganda

  • genetics73

    This is a perfect example of a fascist/socialist Corporate State. Yet another feather in the Obama Achievement Cap. Despicable.

  • oc in nc

    Immelt takes over at G.E. in Sept 01.Stocks drop 60%,Does business with Iran until 2008.Immelt takes 25mil in bailouts.Enough said.

    • californiacitizen

      Exactly what I wanted to say.

  • woodswalking1

    This sounds like Krupp before the second war. Where is our Congress????

  • thamesford

    Crony capitalism anyone?

    From GE itself let’s compare Welch to Immelt to see what our “economy” has to look forward to…


    Remember, Immelt became CEO in September 2001 (9/11 aside, I question his performance and the GE board’s wisdom in retaining him)