Tesla CEO Elon Musk opposes US tariffs on Chinese EVs. Here's why

  • US is planning to impose 100 per cent import duty on electric vehicles imported from China aimed to benefit US-based manufacturers.
Tesla China
World's largest electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, which has a strong presence in China too, has opposed US plans to impose new tariffs on an array of Chinese imports like EVs. (AP)
Tesla China
World's largest electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, which has a strong presence in China too, has opposed US plans to impose new tariffs on an array of Chinese imports like EVs.

Tesla founder Elon Musk told tech investors in Paris on Thursday he opposed US tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), an about-face from his January warning that trade barriers were needed or China would "demolish most other car companies in the world."

On Thursday, Musk said he did not favour measures that distorted the market.

This month, US President Joe Biden rolled out new tariffs on an array of Chinese imports, including EVs, seeking to support American manufacturing.

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The Biden administration has maintained a number of tariffs introduced by former President Donald Trump, while ratcheting up others, including quadrupling EV duties to more than 100%. The White House said the new measures affect $18 billion in imported Chinese goods.

"Neither Tesla nor I asked for these tariffs, in fact I was surprised when they were announced. Things that inhibit freedom of exchange or distort the market are not good," Musk said at the Viva Technology conference in Paris via video link.

Tesla competes quite well in the market in China with no tariffs and no deferential support. I’m in favour of no tariffs," Musk said.

In January, Musk warned Chinese automakers would "demolish" global competitors without trade barriers.

Also Read : Tesla expands China presence with second battery plant.

"If there are no trade barriers established, they will pretty much demolish most other car companies in the world," Musk said in a post-earnings analyst call at the start of the year.

Also Read : Tesla remains silent and yet to communicate its India plans, says official.

Leading tech executives and political figures such as ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former US climate envoy John Kerry took to the stage this year at the annual VivaTech conference.

Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of Musk-owned social media platform X, is expected to participate in-person on Friday for a panel discussion on the future of content.

First Published Date: 24 May 2024, 08:48 AM IST
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