GE’s Board of Directors believes that it is in the best interest of its stakeholders that GE promote sound public policies at the international, national and local levels. To that end, GE’s Government Affairs & Policy team asks the Company’s business teams to provide a semiannual assessment of their legislative and regulatory priorities. Similarly, there is a surveying of issues and priorities across GE regions worldwide. Each business provides a description of its public policy priorities, ties these to a GE objective, and provides input on the significance of the respective issue(s) to the Company.
The businesses also provide input on the appropriate advocacy plan or strategy for achieving a successful outcome—including whether or not GE should advocate for a priority directly or through one of its trade associations or industry coalitions. In the latter case, GE is able to facilitate coordination with other companies with similar priorities. Once each business has assessed and submitted its priorities, the Government Affairs & Policy team can better determine GE’s overall public policy priorities and allocate resources to them accordingly.
In evaluating public policy priorities for an upcoming year, Government Affairs & Policy works with GE senior management to review a number of factors, including the potential reputational consequences and risks of pursuing or not pursuing a particular priority. We set commercial priorities to increase shareowner value, mindful that our commercial success depends upon progress on broader public policy imperatives. Although deal approvals or other onetime matters can sometimes become priorities, tax, trade, data governance, rule of law and intellectual property protections typically top our list of public policy priorities.
2016 GE public policy priorities
- Tax reform and competitive economic policy
- Regulatory reform associated with energy, transportation, healthcare and digital policy
- Effective and modernized defense procurement
- Effective laws and regulations governing the transfer and protection of data
- Free trade
- Global energy and environmental policies
- Government procurement
- Intellectual property protection
- Promotion of exports and the free flow of goods
- Rule of law, globally
- Policies that facilitate the movement of people consistent with business needs
- Policies to promote effective economic development in less-developed countries