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Ex-Im Bank expiry prompts GE to ship 500 jobs overseas

General Electric is planning to move 500 jobs overseas, citing the Export-Import Bank expiration.

The jobs will be moving to France, Hungary and China. Four hundred jobs will move to France, and the remaining 100 will be split between China and Hungary. All the jobs are in the company’s power business and will be moved from the states of South Carolina, Texas, New York and Maine.

“In a way, it’s not our decision,” said GE Vice Chairman John Rice. “We’ve been trying to get people to understand, if you want to compete for global infrastructure projects you need export credit financing.”

The company is currently bidding on $11 billion of projects overseas and before the bids are made, it has to secure the financing, either from the U.S. or other countries willing to extend it. As part of the extension of credit though, the countries may request production and jobs be based in their countries.

In a statement, GE said that France’s export credit agency, COFACE, will provide a line of credit for Indonesian power deals. To access credit for clients of its aeroderivatives turbines, it’s moving final assembly, and 100 jobs to Hungary and China.

GE has been lobbying hard for Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, maintaining it creates U.S. jobs. Much of the opposition to the bank comes from Republicans who maintain the bank inhibits the free-market economy by letting the government pick winners and losers. Some Democrats oppose it, maintaining it’s a source of subsidies to big corporations.