Trump-Appointed Manufacturing Tzar Backfires - Supports NAFTA, Backs Mexico

In an apparent snub to the administration's trade policy plans, GE CEO Jeff Immelt - who sits on the Trump-appointed manufacturing council - said he "very supportive" of NAFTA adding that he was "optimistic about Mexico."

Just a day after we showed Mexico's Manufacturing industrial production surge 8.5% year-over-year - the greatest surge since August 2010...


And expectations for employment in US manufacturers are tumbling...


Reuters reports that GE Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt said on a visit that Mexico had great potential and was not properly understood. He touted the conglomerate's Mexican operations and the trade deal binding Mexico, Canada and the United States.

"GE as a company, we're very supportive of NAFTA," Immelt told employees at an event to mark the expansion of operations in the northern city of Monterrey. He said the trade accord could be modernized, as Mexico has argued.


The GE boss said trade meant "win-win" opportunities across North America.


"We will continue to work constructively in the context of wanting to see a close relationship between the U.S. and Mexico," he said, noting that GE's exports to the rest of the world from Mexico were worth $3 billion.


"We're optimistic about Mexico, we're optimistic about what we can do here," Immelt added, saying Latin America's no. 2 economy would be a "big part" of GE's future.

As a reminder, Immelt sits on a Trump-appointed manufacturing council (that Mexico has targeted for lobbying as Mexico and Canada push U.S. business leaders to defend NAFTA).

While Trump touts a "Buy American" policy and has railed against U.S. companies moving operations to Mexico (threatening to ditch NAFTA, a lynchpin of the Mexican economy, if he cannot rework it to secure better terms for the United States), unlike some U.S. companies, GE has not backed off plans in Mexico, risking broadsides from Trump on Twitter.

How long before Mr. Immelt gets a tap on the shoulder?


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