General Electric, a major U.S. industrial conglomerate, said Tuesday that it would be moving 500 jobs to China, France and Hungary because the U.S. Congress blocked a government program allowing foreign companies to borrow money to buy American products.
Authorization for the lending programs at the U.S. Export-Import Bank ended July 1, when attempts to renew funding for the agency failed. Some conservative Republicans in Congress object to the bank, saying it benefits large corporations like General Electric that can find funding for their products in private markets and do not need government help.
GE, as the company is known in the U.S., said that 100 jobs at a gas turbine manufacturing plant in Houston, Texas, would be moved to Hungary and China next year. General Electric said both those countries have lending options available for customers wanting to buy its turbines.
In addition, GE said, 400 jobs will be moved to France, where the French export credit agency Coface supports global power projects.
General Electric's customers secured almost $1 billion in credit from the Export-Import Bank last year. The company said it had tried to avoid the job shifts out of the U.S., but that "Congress left us no choice when it failed to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank this summer."