In June, General Electric Chairman Jeffrey R. Immelt made a widely cited speech to the Detroit Economic Club calling for America to rebuild its export capacity and double the size of the domestic manufacturing workforce. Coming from a company that has shut down dozens of industrial sites in America over the past several decades, the speech was quite a surprise. But now comes a seemingly contradictory theme from Immelt in the form of a co-authored article in the current Harvard Business Review. It says GE is changing its U.S.-based innovation system to develop more products in emerging markets like China, which will then be distributed to the U.S. and other developed countries. Isn’t that the exact opposite of what Immelt said was needed in June?
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