“Throughout most of American history, commercial interests have played a central role in foreign policy, and vice versa. During the next few decades the interaction between them will become more intense, more important, more difficult to manage … The second Clinton administration should lay out a framework for this interaction to provide the necessary guide for setting priorities …”
— Jeffrey Garten, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade 1993-95, ‘Business and Foreign Policy’, Foreign Affairs, May/June 1997
In late 2015, General Electric swallowed the energy division of the French multinational Alstom. The issue was highlighted mid-battle by Tom Gill on Counterpunch in May 2014.
Alstom had two prongs – energy (power and grid) and transport, with the former constituting over 70% of its business. The GE pr machine described it as ‘GE’s largest industrial deal ever’.
This is not your average takeover. Alstom’s trajectory incorporates larger dimensions.
It is a case study in the character of the peculiarities and vulnerability of the electric power and heavy engineering sectors – large-scale and extraordinarily complex output, irregular demand, and an inevitable close involvement with states as dominant purchasers.
It is a case study in the significant diminution of France’s industrial sector and of the deteriorating capacity of the French state.
It is a case study, by contrast, in the capacity of the US state and its strategic support of US corporate commercial interests.
It is a case study in the structural inhibition of the European Union’s institutions to ensuring European industrial vitality.
Chronology of the takeover (@Counterpunch).
As a result of this dubious, hostile take over and French lawmakers' naivite, France lost control over:
Trailer - Ghost war (RT): the sale of Alstom to General Electric: