GE Might Double Its Purchases Of Mexican Products

Reuters/Vincent Kessler

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Chief Executive Officer of General Electric Jeff Immelt hinted Friday that the company might double its purchases from Mexican suppliers in 2018, a statement that is likely to draw flack from the Trump administration.

Immelt met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto Friday in Mexico City to discuss the future of GE’s relationship with Mexico. Following the meeting, Neito said that Immelt’s visit “ratified the company’s confidence in Mexico and its national industry, by expressing his interest in doubling purchases from national suppliers in 2018.” 

The announcement comes one day after GE secured a $120 million contract to supply power to two manufacturing plants in Mexico, Reuters reports.

Although it isn’t yet clear how the president will respond to Immelt’s assertion, President Donald Trump has been outspoken about companies moving to or striking favorable deals with foreign nations.

While president-elect, Trump promised companies that his administration would punish them if they chose to move overseas.

“Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences,” Trump said in December 2016. “Not gonna happen. It’s not gonna happen.”

Trump has repeatedly roasted companies for moving operations or business overseas since taking office, especially to Mexico. The president threatened GM with a “big border tax” if they outsourced the production of its Chevy Cruze model production to Mexico, which resulted in the company announcing a $1 billion investment in the U.S. (RELATED: GM Plans Over $1 Billion Investment In The U.S.)

The president’s repeated attacks on companies for moving to Mexico is sparking some animosity between himself and Nieto. Adding fuel to the fire is the president’s push for a border wall along the U.S-Mexico border. Trump threatened to cancel his meeting with Nieto in February if Mexico remained unwilling to pay for the “badly needed wall.” (RELATED: Trump Threatens To Cancel Meeting With Mexico)

Immelt’s promise Friday is not the first time he has taken a stance opposite Trump.

Immelt argued the benefits of globalization in a speech in early May. The executive said the U.S. stands to lose a great deal if it pursues the “protectionist” policies promoted by Trump and his administration. “If leaders think people want to live without the many benefits economic integration has enabled, they’re in for a rude awakening,” he said.

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