GE Unit Protests Cleveland Lighting Deal

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The General Electric lighting division in Cleveland is lit up over a city proposal to give a Chinese company an exclusive, 10-year lighting deal.

A plan before Cleveland's city council would make Sunpu-Opto Semiconductor Ltd. the only supplier of LED lights for street lamps, traffic signals and city buildings. In exchange, the company would set up a U.S. base in Cleveland, which Mayor Frank Jackson says would create 350 jobs.

GE Lighting has long had its headquarters in Cleveland. CEO Michael Petras says in a letter to Jackson that his company should have a chance to bid on the contract and calls the proposed deal with Sunpu-Opto "a slap in the face."

City officials said Tuesday that Sunpu-Opto is the sole LED supplier that meets Cleveland's requirements.

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