22 Apr 2009 A (Brief) E-Mail Response from GE
An individual whose signature line identified him as a tax analyst for GE based in Ft. Myers, Florida sent along one of the shortest blog comments possible: a link to a page on GE’s website, with no accompanying commentary.
The link is:
For the convenience of our readers, the linked page says:
GE doesn’t do business in or with Iran. Due to the developing circumstances there, the concerns of our shareholders, and our view of our corporate responsibilities, GE and its board decided in 2005 to stop doing business in Iran.
There have been two exceptions to this: completing the work for existing contracts as quickly as possible and humanitarian activity, which is authorized by U.S. Government licenses. As of June 2008, we have completed all business in Iran. GE at all times acted in full compliance with U.S. and other laws. We have always required our businesses to follow U.S. sanctions and other applicable laws. In fact, our policies have been more restrictive than U.S. law.
GE does business in more than 100 countries. We carefully consider the locations in which we do business. We want to do what is best for our shareholders, our company, our partners, and the countries in which and with whom we do business. We devote significant resources to ensuring that our business activities are in compliance with all applicable laws, that they are conducted with integrity and that they deliver value for our shareholders worldwide.
Our actions regarding Iran reflect our shareholders’ concerns, our board of directors’ judgment, and GE’s dedication to being a responsible corporate citizen. In light of business and reputation risks that may arise from doing business with countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism by the U.S. Department of State (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria), GE will not accept business in any of these countries, except activity that is authorized by the U.S. Government for humanitarian or public policy purposes.
I don’t believe this conflicts with anything we’ve said about GE, and it is of course silent on several of our concerns (such as GE’s lobbying for cap and trade, for the new “green bank,” etc.). Nevertheless we are happy to make this brief response from GE conveniently available to our readers.