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GE spent $5.7M on 3Q lobbying

December 12, 2011
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WASHINGTON—Manufacturing giant and consumer product maker General Electric Co. spent $5.65 million in the third quarter to lobby the federal government to be more aggressive in helping exporters and on other issues, according to a disclosure report.

That's 39 percent less than the $9.28 million that the industrial and financial giant spent a year earlier and 17 percent less than the $6.77 million it spent in 2011's second quarter, according to disclosure reports the company filed with the House clerk's office. GE also lobbied the federal government about improving the nation's air traffic control system, incentives to recycle water, patent laws, defense spending, renewable energy standards, electric vehicle policies, pipeline safety, air quality regulations, the company said in a report it filed Oct. 20.

GE, which makes products from toasters to wind turbines and owns a minority interest in NBC Universal, sees foreign markets as one of its primary areas of growth in coming years.

It has been pushing to expand the U.S. Export-Import Bank so that it can be more aggressive in financing sales of U.S. goods and services to foreign buyers. The bank's mandate is to lend money to buyers who can't get loans elsewhere for U.S.-made products.

GE says competing manufacturers overseas get similar help from sovereign government loan programs. Those programs, in fact, are much better financed and put GE and other U.S. manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage, the company says.

GE wants to expand the U.S. Export-Import Bank's lending powers to put it on par with its counterpart lenders overseas.

In July to September, GE lobbied Congress, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Executive Office of the President, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

It also lobbied the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, the Food & Drug Administration and the Departments of Transportation, Treasury, Energy, State, Commerce and Defense, according to the reports.

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