Tuesday, September 29, 2015

GOP obstructs federal financing, Waukesha firm takes jobs to Canada

[Updated] Turns out there's a new way to kill Bucky's jobs:

Paul Ryan and other right-wing bigs in the Wisconsin and national GOP House caucuses have ideological objections to government financing for businesses long provided by the US Export-Import Bank, so a major GE unit which makes engines in Waukesha has decided to shut down, hit the road and enjoy a better deal in Canada:
General Electric Co (GE.N) said on Monday it will move production of large, gas-powered engines to Canada from Wisconsin, along with 350 jobs, to access export financing no longer available in the United States. 
In its latest salvo aimed at persuading Congress to renew the U.S. Export-Import Bank's charter which expired in June, GE will invest $265 million in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant at a Canadian location yet to be determined. 
The facility, to open in about 20 months, can be expanded to provide flexible manufacturing capacity to support other GE businesses, including engines for railroad locomotives, GE said.
In exchange for moving the production from Waukesha, Wisconsin, Export Development Canada will provide financing support for a range of future products, including some still made in the United States... 
Republican Representative James Sensenbrenner, who represents Waukesha and opposes EXIM "in its current form," said in a statement that the move was a "sober reminder of the urgent need to stay competitive in the global marketplace" and called for lower corporate tax rates.
Michigan's former GOP Governor, now a national business spokesman, has called these GOP congressional ideologues "economically illiterate."


lufthase said...

Obviously, this is terrible for the 350 workers, their families, and GE Waukesha's suppliers, but there's some really weird layers to peel back here (in no particular order):
- Koch/AFP/Tea Party is against Ex-Im Bank, but GE is for it. Weird to see them on opposite sides.
- GE has scores (hundreds?) of US plants, many if not most of which are affected by the Ex-Im Bank, but they chose to close just this one particular plant in WI
- WI has a near-zero tax rate on manufacturing, RTW has rolled out the red carpet for GE Waukesha to bust its union, and GE could have made one phone call to WEDC and named their price, but again, they still chose to close this particular plant in WI
- Koch/AFP/Tea Party is ideologically opposed to Ex-Im Bank providing govt financing to private businesses; but apparently they're OK with WEDC (and its clones like JobsOhio)? Also, unlike WEDC, Ex-Im Bank is revenue-positive.
- Check out this release from Rep Scott Allen (R-Waukesha, district about 3 miles from GE Medical), wherein he stops just short of calling for a boycott of GE:

Anonymous said...

Nearly 2 years ago, the very beloved division President of this division told our community that he wanted to double the plant because of the huge global demand for natural gas engines.

GE pumped millions into the office remodel and plant upgrades.

Then he "retired" with no fanfare. You just knew something was up. The place was like a funeral parlor.

This is a huge loss for Wisconsin. These are not small engines. They are very large, industrial use, natural gas engines that are shipped around the world. These are not service industry jobs.

This is a huge loss for Waukesha. Waukesha Engine has been a family supporting employer in the community for 100 years. Workers come from as far away as Milwaukee. If fact when President Obama was introduced at his appearance, the introduction was by a young beneficiary of a Milwaukee jobs training program whom talked about how his job was a god send for him and his new young American of African decent family.

Now what?

I guess Waukesha could bulldoze the plant and do another TID. It seems like retail jobs are where America is headed.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Barrett is concerned that GE is the first of many companies who will have to move. "Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has drafted a letter to Governor Scott Walker, asking that Walker join him in "demanding Congress take the appropriate action to save these jobs, and perhaps, thousands of other Wisconsin jobs." Here is the link: http://fox6now.com/2015/09/28/milwaukee-business-journal-ge-to-end-manufacture-of-gas-engines-in-waukesha/ and here is the text of the letter. There is a link in the article.

September 29, 2015
Governor Scott Walker
115 East, State Capitol
Madison, WI 53702

Dear Governor Walker:
The news that GE plans to shutter its engine manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin is
both stunning and disheartening. The direct loss of hundreds of jobs – and the impacts on other
companies – is particularly devastating because the plant’s closure appears to be the direct result of Congressional inaction. I hope that, together, we can prevail upon GE to reconsider its decision. GE has made it clear that the failure of Congress to reauthorize the United States Export-Import Bank is the primary reason it is moving Wisconsin jobs to Canada. I ask that you join me in demanding Congress take the appropriate action to save these jobs – and, perhaps, thousands of other Wisconsin jobs.
I know you understand the importance of the Export-Import Bank to jobs in Wisconsin. In fact, in
2010 we both criticized the Bank when it initially denied an application that affected Bucyrus
International‘s financing of mining equipment for a power plant in India. I believe our bipartisan work played a direct role in convincing the Bank to reverse its initial decision. That saved hundreds of jobs here.
Let’s take a bipartisan approach to save Wisconsin jobs again. The argument you made in 2010 is
equally strong today. At the time you took out full-page advertisement that said, in part:
“…the ingenuity, work ethic, and determination of Wisconsin workers is what has made
us world leaders in the manufacturing of everything from motorcycles to mining
equipment. Wisconsin stands ready to compete, however, we can only do this if
government leaders in Washington and Madison are willing to give us the opportunity.”
This is a crucial time for manufacturing, and the jobs of workers in Milwaukee and around the
State are at stake. By filling a unique role in international business transactions, the Export Import Bank provides the kind of opportunity you called for more than five years ago.
As you know, the Export-Import Bank operates at no cost to taxpayers. It has existed for 80 years, and in that time it enjoyed bipartisan support including endorsements from Presidents
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush. It provides a level playing field for
American businesses, and almost nine out of ten of the Bank’s transactions directly support small businesses – including small businesses in Wisconsin.
I look forward to the possibility that we can stand united in support of Wisconsin manufacturers. Let’s work to save the GE jobs. The failure of Congress to act is hurting us here in Wisconsin. I find that unacceptable and I hope you do too.

Anonymous said...

So the Export-Import bank is something else Walker has flip-flopped on.

Anonymous said...

Yah, right. Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Jim Sensenbrenner, Ron Johnson.

Greedy Executives don't give a crap about the middle class Americans whom built this country. And neither do the idiot Republicans whom join the Greedy Executives in eliminating the middle class through Right to Work and Prevailing wage reforms.

GE Pewaukee will be next.

Watch how this works: The Waukesha Mayor, Shawn Reiley offers a new TID District and free money, Walker offers the sun, moon, and stars to be named after each Greedy Executive. The EXIM Bank gets a new life for 10 years. And the union jobs go from $25 per hour to $13 for new hires.

Who represents the working class anymore???

If they move to Canada Waukesha could save a lot of water.