Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Elon Musk tweets at Trump to push China on vehicle tariffs

Elon Musk tweets at Trump to push China on vehicle tariffs

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted at United States president Donald Trump about the unfairness of the rules governing the auto trade between China and the US.

Musk continued the thread by stating that the current discrepancy between the USA and China's tariffs on cars makes things "very difficult" and is like "competing in an Olympic race wearing lead shoes". "It's like competing in an Olympic race wearing lead shoes", Musk wrote.

Musk finished his tweets by pointing out that he'd raised his concerns with the Obama administration, but "nothing happened". Just want a fair outcome, ideally where tariffs/rules are equally moderate. "Nothing more. Hope this does not seem unreasonable", another tweet said.

Although Trump did not reply to Musk's comments online, he did address it at a press conference later on Thursday, called to announce new tariffs on imported steel aluminium, repoted Bloomberg.

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Musk, who was a member of President Trump's advisory council prior to leaving it in June 2017, asked the President whether the US and China should have the same rules for cars, delving into global trade policy at a time when it has become a touchy subject for many domestic corporations.

Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Thursday imposing new tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, a move that will take effect in 15 days. "We just want fairness".

Earlier Thursday, Trump praised Musk and SpaceX as he hailed the private space industry. They're saving the boosters.

Tesla has exported cars to China for years now, and they sell well in the country, accounting for around 9 percent of the EV market there. In classic Musk fashion, the Tesla CEO's tweets were sharp with wit, direct to the point, and filled with facts. "They landed so beautifully".

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Tesla announced the electric big rigs last November, and companies such as Walmart and DHL are reportedly interested. He also complained U.S. automakers couldn't own a majority share of their factories in China, while five Chinese electric vehicle companies held full ownership of their factories in the US.

Tesla has been pushing hard to build cars in China, the world's largest auto market, but has hit roadblocks in negotiations with local authorities, in part because Musk is keen to keep full control of any local venture. "Meaning, same import duties, ownership constraints & other factors", Musk tweeted.

He added that 'when China or another country charges us 50 percent tariffs - more than that in some cases - and we charge them nothing, that´s not fair.

China levies a 25% duty on sales of imported vehicles. "They send their vehicle over here, 2.5 percent". On the other hand, five Chinese electric auto companies operate in the U.S., Musk claims, alluding to brands like Faraday Future and Byton.

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