Baucus, Immelt chat US-China relations at UM

SKYLAR RISPENS

Jeff Immelt, a former CEO of General Electric, encouraged the Baucus Institute to change the game when it comes to training future leaders while speaking at an event at the University of Montana.

“I think globally, we are playing off the old playbook,” Immelt said. “We think about the world like we want it to be and not like it is right now.”

Immelt was joined by Max Baucus, former senator and U.S. Ambassador to China, for a Baucus Institute’s speaker series on Tuesday, where the two discussed the importance of the United States’ relationship with China. Pardis Mahdavi, UM’s provost and executive vice president, moderated the conversation.

To kick off their conversation, Mahdavi asked why Montanans should care about U.S.-China relations.

“I believe that the standard of living of our kids and our grandkids very much depends on how well we manage this relationship – it’s that critical,” Baucus replied, noting that half of the world’s steel, aluminum, coal and renewable energy is produced in China.

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“The only thing that unites Republicans and Democrats right now is this kind of hatred of China,” Immelt said. “But China exists.

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