Musk asks Trump about China fairness

"Think about Elon Musk and what he's had to overcome to achieve what he has achieved", Ron Baron, who's also chairman of the fund that owns more than 1.6 million Tesla shares, said by phone.

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". First, he said that the United States places only a 2.5 per cent tariff on cars imported to the U.S. from China, while China places a 25 per cent tariff on USA imports.

Musk replied directly to Trump.

'We're going to be doing a reciprocal tax at some point.

Musk then continued with other messages directed at Trump. Musk previously served on Trump's advisory council.

Trump's tariff announcement is thought to be limited to steel and aluminum, though there are scant details on specifics of the plan. On Thursday afternoon, Trump signed two proclamations that implement tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, but exempt Canada and Mexico.

'You are truly the backbone of America, you know that?

Musk, who past year removed himself from two of President Donald Trump's advisory councils - the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative and the Strategic and Policy Forum - over Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, followed up with another tweet. For me, that's more unbelievable than watching the rocket go up, 'cause I've never seen that before. Nobody has seen it before, where they're saving the boosters. They came back, without wings, without anything. It´s like competing in an Olympic race wearing lead shoes'.

To further entice the president to take action, Musk finished his tweetstorm by explaining how "nothing happened" when he brought up these issues with the past administration.

"Just want a fair outcome, ideally where tariffs/rules are equally moderate", Musk tweeted. "Nothing more. Hope this does not seem unreasonable", another tweet said.

Without a factory-which in China typically requires foreign companies to take on a local partner-Tesla faces steep import taxes.

CNBC notes that the Tesla electric semis pictured leaving the Gigafactory both have side-view mirrors, which is different than the prototype that was unveiled late past year. In all cases, the USA presence is due to a Chinese rule that auto companies must be majority owned by Chinese partners.

Earlier, Trump held a cabinet meeting where model rockets were on display.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China levies a 25 percent duty on sales of imported vehicles. "We want to make sure that Elon stays and uses Tesla as a vehicle for a lot of growth".

China said previous year it would gradually reduce its auto import tariffs.

That's despite exclusively relying on exporting its cars from the U.S. to China where they are subject to a 25% import tariff.


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