While President Obama grappled with
political concerns during his trip to China this week, General Electric
was busy signing technology-sharing agreements with Beijing partners —
including a high-speed rail pact that positions GE to leap ahead of its
competitors in the race for business from the Obama administration’s
bullet train rollout.
The deal involves a net gain for both parties. GE plans to share its low-emissions Evolution Series
technology with CSR Qishuyan, China’s biggest diesel locomotives
company, while China’s Ministry of Railways will license high-speed
rail technology to GE.
And given American policymakers’ concerns
that U.S. "high-speed" trains will be too slow to compete with overseas
models, it’s worth underscoring that the GE-China deal has a target
speed of 350 kilometers per hour, or about 220 mph.
which GE says could provide up to 3,500 U.S. jobs, requires 80 percent
of the materials for high-speed rail construction and 100 percent of
the assembly to come from American sources. From the statement issued
by Tim Schweikert, president of GE Transportation China:
Rail in the U.S. and in markets worldwide is a significant opportunity
for infrastructure and business growth. With the signing of today’s
framework agreement, GE and China’s Ministry of Railways have provided
the basis for a cooperation-focused framework that will enhance
economic development, create new jobs and promote research and
development for high-speed railway technology.
currently is the world leader in locomotive diesel-electric and
electronic control systems technology, China currently is a leader in
high-speed rail technology for speeds of 220 miles per hour. Working
together, both parties could develop the best solutions faster to serve
America’s high-speed rail needs for many years to come.