Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he opposes

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he opposes

Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday said he is opposed to government tax incentives for purchasing electric vehicles (EVs), as well as tariffs against Chinese EVs, or any other goods, for that matter.

“In general, I’m in favor of no tariffs. I’m also actually in favor of no tax incentives for EVs, but provided that… the tax incentives for oil and gas must also be eliminated,” Musk said during a remote appearance at the Viva Technology conference in Paris. “So I’m in favor of no tariffs and no incentives for electric vehicles or for oil and gas. And if they’re all taken away, I think that would be for the best.”

The billionaire explained that “generally, things that inhibit freedom of exchange, or distort the market, are not good — they’re bad.”

Musk told the audience he was “surprised” when the Biden administration announced new tariffs — which are taxes levied on imported products — on Chinese EVs and other products earlier this month and said his company is already competitive without them.

“Neither Tesla nor I asked for these tariffs,” the CEO said, adding that “Tesla competes quite well in the market in China, with no tariffs and no differential support.”

Earlier this year, Musk warned that Chinese automakers would destroy their global competition without tariffs or other trade barriers.

Musk told investors on a post-earnings call in January that Chinese automakers were the “most competitive” and “will have significant success outside of China, depending on what kind of tariffs or trade barriers are established.”

“If there are no trade barriers established, they will pretty much demolish most other car companies in the world,” he said. “They’re extremely good.”

His comments came after Chinese electric car company BYD, which makes cheaper cars and is backed by Berkshire-Hathaway, surpassed Tesla as the top-selling EV company in the previous quarter.

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