GE Backs Away From CEO Comments Criticizing Obama


General Electric Co. (GE) backtracked from comments reportedly made by CEO Jeffrey Immelt in which he criticized President Barack Obama and Chinese trade policy.

In an article in the Financial Times, Immelt was reported as saying that Obama and U.S. business had a hostile relationship.

The U.S. is " a pathetic exporter," Immelt reportedly told an audience of Italian executives in Rome. "We have to become and industrial powerhouse again but you don't do this when government and entrepreneurs are not in synch."

Immelt is also reported to have said that China's trade policies are protectionist and that the government doesn't want any foreign companies "to win," CNN said.

GE said Thursday that the comments were taken out of context and reported inaccurately.

"Mr. Immelt's comments at a private dinner focused on the relationship between business and government in general and did not single out President Obama," GE spokeswoman Anne Eisele said in a statement.

The Financial Times stood by the accuracy of its report, CNN said.