Friday, 14 September 2018

Economic Warfare: GE (US), the DoJ v. Alstom (Fr)

“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:

  • It's gas/steam famous 'Arabelle' turbines
  • A turbocharger for its aircraft carriers
  • Take-off and landing catapult technology for its aircraft carriers

  • Trailer - Ghost war (RT): the sale of Alstom to General Electric:

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