At a private dinner in Rome, General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt blasted China and took a shot at President Obama and the pending financial reform efforts in Congress, reports the Financial Times.
The Chinese government, Immelt said, is increasingly putting pressure on developing nations with large natural resources. Resource-rich nations don't want to be "colonized" by China, he reportedly added and decried what he sees as China's protectionist stance.
Immlet also blasted President Obama, citing the generally "terrible" economic sentiment in America. At Fortune, Heidi Moore posits that Immelt's China-related fury, which GE said was taken out of context, can simply be chalked up to his talking his own book. Here's Moore:
"Immelt's frustration may have been fed by GE's (GE) own missed goals in the country. While Immelt boldly predicted that GE would double its revenues in China between 2008 and 2010, they actually only grew by 12% through 2009. Unless they grow by 88% this year, Immelt looks overly optimistic.
More importantly, however, Immelt should not take it personally. China isn't hostile to multinationals; it's hostile to any non-Chinese company. This has less to do with GE than it does with the last decade of history between China and the U.S. when it comes to market protectionism."
General Electric spent $7 million lobbying the government in the first quarter of 2010, American Banking News reports, up from $6.8 million the previous quarter -- on issues from health care reform to consumer protection.
Check out the full piece on Immelt's remarks at the FT.