By Stas Margaronis, AJOTGeneral Electric plans new agreements with Chinese partners in strategic sectors such as clean energy, aviation and rail transportation, which are expected to generate more than $1 billion in exports from the United States and create or support 4,500 U.S. jobs, according to a company press release. Specifically, the company announced sales to China that capitalize on GE’s advanced technologies: • A joint venture between GE Aviation and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to develop and market the new generation of avionics systems with an immediate priority on supporting development of China’s first home-grown big passenger jet. The joint venture will result in $300 million in exports from Michigan, Florida and Ohio and support at least 300 high-tech jobs in each of the United States and China. • A Letter of Intent signed by GE Transportation with the Ministry of Railways (MOR) to provide $350 million worth of U.S.-built locomotives, locomotive sub-assembly kits, service support and signaling systems for China’s railway upgrade. The export order could support 2,000 U.S. jobs. • A Letter of Intent signed by GE Transportation with the MOR to reaffirm both parties’ intent to collaborate on High-Speed Rail (HSR) and electric rail opportunities in North America. The partnership represents a joint investment of approximately $50 million with the potential to support 250 U.S. jobs by 2012 for the first phase of the agreement. • A joint venture between GE Energy and Shenhua Group Corporation to develop coal gasification technologies in China, key to commercial-scale deployment of cleaner coal solutions. This collaboration is expected to generate more than $150 million in revenues over five years and $100 million of U.S. exports in services, R&D and licensing. It will also support job creation in the United States and China, including hundreds of jobs in Houston, Greenville, SC; and Schenectady, NY. • A collaborative agreement between GE Energy and China Huadian Corporation to develop distributed energy combined heat and power (DECHP) projects, which are expected to become the most efficient natural gas solutions for China. GE forecasts at least 50 gas-turbine generator sets being sold and installed in China in the next five years, resulting in $500 million of revenue for the partnership and $350 million in U.S. gas turbine exports from Cincinnati, Houston, Colorado and Oregon. This will support more than 2,100 jobs throughout GE’s domestic U.S. supply chain. However, there is growing concern that sales to China of strategic technologies will ultimately cost American companies jobs and markets. In response, Stephan Koller, communications manager for GE’s Transportation argues that GE exports of locomotives and other capital equipment abroad face localization requirements. If companies such as GE are to sell their products, they must meet these requirements. He also points out that in 2009, there were very few locomotive orders in North America and “what sustained our business was foreign locomotive sales including the sales of sub-assemblies.” GE employs 4,200 workers at its Erie, Pennsylvania plant. In 1985, Koller says, GE sold China 400 new diesel-electric ND-5 locomotives (also known as C36s). At the time, the country was dependant on outmoded steam locomotives, which contributed to major power outages nation-wide as 10 million metric tons of coal never reached power plants, according to a 1983 Lloyds economic survey. This prophetic report, “China Shipping: The Great Leap Forward” outlined challenges China would face in its modernization and predicted a series of economic nationalist initiatives, that were already under way in 1983, that would transform the country into a world leader by 2011: “China’s leadership has staked a great deal on the country’s ability to absorb Western technology. The modernization of existing industries and the development of new technologies is to provide the transport, energy and science that wi