Elon Musk Distances Tesla from Biden's 100% Tariff on Chinese EVs, Claims Company's Competitive Edge Without Incentives

By Madz Dizon

May 23, 2024 09:18 PM EDT

Elon Musk Distances Tesla from Biden's 100% Tariff on Chinese EVs, Claims Company's Competitive Edge Without Incentives
Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla and SpaceX and owner of X Holdings Corp., speaks at the Milken Institute's Global Conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel,on May 6, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. The 27th annual global conference explores various topics, from the rise of generative AI to electric vehicle trends and features participants, soccer star David Beckham and actor Ashton Kutcher.
(Photo : Apu Gomes/Getty Images)

Elon Musk expressed his surprise upon learning about President Joe Biden's decision to impose a tariff on Chinese electric vehicles. 

Elon Musk Slams Biden's Tariffs in Chinese EVs

During a tech investor event in Paris, the Tesla founder expressed his opposition to US tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs).

This marks a change in his stance from January, when he warned that trade barriers were necessary to prevent China from dominating the global car industry, according to Reuters.

On Thursday, Musk expressed his preference for market conditions that were not artificially manipulated.

In a move aimed at bolstering American manufacturing, USPresident Joe Biden recently implemented a series of tariffs on various Chinese imports, including electric vehicles (EVs).

The Biden administration has chosen to uphold several tariffs implemented by former President Donald Trump, while also increasing certain ones.

This includes a significant increase in electric vehicle duties, which now exceed 100%. The White House has announced that the newly implemented measures will have an impact on $18 billion worth of Chinese goods that are imported.

In January, Musk expressed concern about the potential impact of Chinese automakers on global competitors in the absence of trade barriers.

Moreover, Musk avoided discussions about his commitment to introducing an affordable electric vehicle to the market or the recent challenges the carmaker has faced.

READ NEXT: Tesla Shareholders Oppose Elon Musk Pay Package, Say CEO Lacks Strong Leadership for Being Busy to Other Businesses

Elon Musk: Tesla Can Compete With Chinese EVs Without Biden Administration's Help

Per Bloomberg, the CEO expertly dodged questions on the topics during a remote appearance on Thursday (May 23) at the VivaTech conference in Paris.

He provided a vague response to one reporter and abruptly ended the conversation with another journalist due to his personal bias against her media outlet.

When questioned about the impact of US President Joe Biden's tariffs on Chinese EVs on Tesla's plans to introduce a more affordable EV, Musk initially expressed hesitancy in addressing inquiries related to a publicly traded company and their significant implications.

Following a brief interruption in his live video feed, Musk reappeared and expressed his belief that the topic at hand might not captivate the audience. According to him, there is a clear distinction between Tesla's product planning and the trade policies of the Biden administration. 

Musk confidently stated that his company is fully capable of maintaining its competitiveness with China without relying on government incentives.

"Neither Tesla nor I asked for these tariffs. Tesla competes quite well in the market in China with no tariffs and no differential support," Musk stated during a Q&A session with audience members. 

READ MORE: Student Loan Forgiveness: Biden Administration Announces $7.7 Billion Relief for 160,000 Borrowers 

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