Tesla CEO Elon Musk reverses his stance on Chinese tariffs

Tesla CEO Elon Musk reversed his position on Chinese tariffs during a conference on Thursday. In January, Musk said measures would need to be taken so that Chinese automakers do not “tear down” global competitors.

Now, the Biden administration is imposing tariffs to prioritize American manufacturing, and Musk believes it’s the wrong move to make, as he said things that limit a foreign country’s ability to do business in other regions are not market friendly.

At the Viva Technology conference in Paris, Musk explained his ideas in detail:

“Neither Tesla nor I asked for these definitions; In fact, I was surprised when they were announced. Things that prevent freedom of exchange or distort the market are not good. Tesla competes well in the market in China without tariffs or preferential subsidies. “I support not imposing any customs duties.”

This is a major shift from what Musk said just a few months ago in January, where he detailed the need for barriers that would protect local businesses:

“If there were no trade barriers, it would pretty much destroy most of the other car companies in the world.”

In mid-May, the Biden administration launched a new tariff program equivalent to a 100 percent rate on electric vehicles, while other sectors were less affected.

The Washington Post said in its report on the tariffs that the program will affect $18 billion in Chinese products and is being implemented “to protect American workers and companies.”

The White House will raise tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles to ward off cheap imports

This is not the first time Musk has spoken about tariff programs between the United States and China. In April 2018, he said China’s plan to reduce import tariffs was a “very important measure” and would help avoid a “trade war.”

In 2020, the Trump administration aimed to impose customs duties on auto parts, which Tesla challenged in court.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk reverses his stance on Chinese tariffs: ‘Things that distort the market are not good’

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