CLOSE TIES: Administration approves GENBCCOMCAST merger AND makes CEO Immelt part of Administration — in same week!

GE’s Immelt to Head Obama’s New ‘Jobs and Competitiveness’ Board

by  Marc Ambinder

Friday, January 21, 2011 | 12:54 a.m.

AFP/Getty Images

President Obama talks with Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO  of General Electric, during the first quarterly meetings of the  President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board in the Roosevelt Room of  the White House on May 20, 2009.

Updated at 7:47 a.m. on January 21.

President Obama today will name General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt chairman of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the White House announced overnight.

The Jobs and Competitiveness Council’s establishment signals that  the president believes the economic recovery has entered a new, more  productive phase. It will advise the president on job creation policies  and on the establishment of a long-term growth strategy. Its composition  was not immediately available.

The creation of the new entity  coincides with the early February dissolution of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB), which was tasked principally with fixing the financial markets and restoring the American economy to equilibrium. Tonight, the administration formally announced the resignation of PERAB Chairman Paul Volcker. Immelt was one of 17 members of the board.

“Because we still have a long way to go to get Americans back to work and strengthen our economy,” the White House announced in a 12:30 am EST statement, “the council will focus on finding new ways to promote growth by investing in American business to encourage hiring, to educate and train our workers to compete globally, and to attract the best jobs and businesses to the United States.”

“Over the past two years, my Economic Recovery Advisory Board has provided this administration with support and expertise as we worked to bring our economy back from the brink and start recovering from an economic crisis that cost millions of American jobs,” Obama is quoted as saying in the statement. “We still have a long way to go, and my number one priority is to ensure we are doing everything we can to get the American people back to work. As we enter a new phase in our recovery, I have asked the new Council to focus its work on finding new ways to encourage the private sector to hire and invest in American competitiveness.”

Immelt, GE’s CEO since September 2001, met with the president earlier this week and attended Wednesday’s state dinner with Chinese President Hu Jintao. He will guide the president on a tour of GE headquarters in Schenectady, N.Y., today. Immelt, a Republican, donated to both Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain during the last presidential cycle, but not President Obama, according to Bloomberg.

In the statement, Obama thanks Volcker, a revered former Federal Reserve Board chairman, and says that he intends to call on Volcker’s counsel in the future. The White House and Volcker have said that Volcker’s decision to step down was his own, although the emphasis on the board’s sunset date suggests that the decision was driven by the White House’s intention not to extend the PERAB’s mandate. Obama has accepted some of Volcker’s suggestions, like a major restriction on how banks can speculate with their money.

During his State of the Union address Tuesday, Obama is expected to outline a competitiveness agenda and specify the steps needed to fulfill several promises about the pace and quality of job creation.

CORRECTION: The original version of this report misspelled the name of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Advertisement

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers

%d bloggers like this: