Elon Musk said he didn’t ask Biden

Elon Musk said he didn’t ask Biden

  • Elon Musk said he wasn’t involved in President Joe Biden’s tariff on Chinese electric cars.
  • The White House announced the 100% tariff on Chinese EV imports on May 14.
  • Earlier this year, Musk said the government should consider trade barriers for Chinese automakers.

Elon Musk said he was surprised when President Joe Biden announced a tariff on Chinese electric vehicles.

“Neither Tesla nor I asked for these tariffs,” the Tesla CEO said during an interview at the VivaTech conference in Paris on Thursday.



“Tesla competes quite well in the market in China with no tariffs and no deferential support. In general, I’m in favor of no tariffs,” he added.

On May 14, the White House said it planned to implement a 100% tariff on EVs that had been made by Chinese automakers in an attempt to combat “China’s unfair trade practices.”

Tesla has dealt with some headwinds recently, including in China, the world’s largest EV market. Tesla’s China sales in April were down 18% compared with the prior year, according to the China Passenger Car Association. Globally, the EV company posted its first year-over-year quarterly decline since 2020 during the first quarter of 2024.

Tesla has been facing increasing competition from Chinese EV companies. In the last quarter of 2023, Chinese automaker BYD temporarily unseated Tesla as the world’s top seller of electric cars.

Musk’s comments on Thursday on China tariffs seem to represent a reversal for the billionaire. As recently as January, Musk said that the US should consider trade barriers to prevent Chinese EV companies from taking over the US market, warning that the companies could “demolish” the US market if action was not taken.



In April, the Tesla CEO said “Chinese car companies are by far the most competitive.”

“That’s where we find the toughest competitive challenges,” Musk said during a podcast with Norges Bank Investment Management CEO Nicolai Tangen. “They make great cars and they work very hard.”

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