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GE’s Jeff Immelt Warns Donald Trump on Perils of Protectionism

“We made globalization its own political party,” he said. “The party saw globalization as a theory, rather than understanding the impact on normal people, or the critical investments needed to build competitiveness. We rationalized outsourcing as merely good business. Long ago, GE was a part of this as well.”

“We are not going back to a pure free-trade world,” Mr. Immelt said, but added, “If leaders think people in this room or around the country want to live without the many benefits economic integration has enabled, they’re in for a rude awakening.”

Although relatively infrequent, rebukes from other executives have been somewhat effective so far in guiding trade policy. Perhaps this straight talk from Jeff Immelt will have a similar effect.

Regardless, one might view this as an interesting reduction of hundreds of years of globalization.