"We want to open up their markets so that we got two-way trade, not just one-way trade," said Obama. "I've set a goal of doubling American exports within five years and we're on track to do it."
Obama said the last two years the country has been trying to escape a recession, but the next two years are about putting the country's economy back into "overdrive."
When Obama took office two years ago he assembled a team of business leaders, including Immelt, to help him and the country overcome a dwindling economy. Now Immelt will once again be at Obama's side as he tries to reignite the economy.
"Jeff is somebody who brings a wealth of experience to the table. He is one of the nation's most respected and admired business leaders, and that's a reputation he earned over 10 years at the helm of this company," said Obama. "I know this council will be an important asset as we seek to do everything we can to spur hiring and ensure our nation can compete with anybody on the planet. That means spurring innovation in growing industries like clean energy manufacturing, the kind of stuff that's being done right here at this plant; ensuring our economy isn't held back by crumbling roads and broken-down infrastructure."
Immelt said he was honored to lead Obama's council and he is confident the country will be able to overcome its troubles.
City of Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton had flown back with Obama in Air Force One, because he had been attending a conference for Mayors in Washington, D.C. and Obama had joked Stratton had "looked like he was having a pretty good time."