WSJ: Cincy's off GE's list for possible new HQ

Posted at 11:16 AM, Sep 12, 2015

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati had a chance to host General Electric Co.'s new headquarters, but a political squabble over Export-Import Bank killed those chances, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Connecticut has been home to GE for more than 40 years, but the company is considering moving due to "an inhospitable climate for business in the state," The Journal said. 

Now, GE has crossed Cincinnati off the short list of new host cities for a similar reason. The Wall Street Journal cited "a person close to GE" in saying that GE officials examined voting records -- particularly, the re-authorization of Export-Import Bank -- when evaluating potential cities for the new headquarters.

Supporters of the bank argue that it helps U.S. exporters, but several conservative politicians voted against the bank's reauthorization, including Gov. John Kasich and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) the Columbus Dispatch reported.

GE Aviation spokesman Rick Kennedy said Kasich and Jordan's opposition to the bank is “a highly troublesome matter for us,” and that “GE Aviation is the largest exporter in the state of Ohio. We sell (jet) engines all over the world. And many of those customers need access to the bank’s credit," The Dispatch reported.

Cincinnati already hosts production facilities in the Greater Cincinnati area. Additionally, CEO Jeffrey Immelt was born in Cincinnati and attended Finneytown High School.

On Thurday, Immelt appeared on CNBC's "Squak on the Street", and criticized his home state, saying local politicians' opposition to the bank makes the region "look insane to the rest of the world."

GE plans to make a decision before 2016 regarding the headquarters' new location and whether or not the 800 or so corporate jobs will remain in Fairfield, Conn.