Elon Musk says he opposes US tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles

Image source, Getty Images

Legend, Mr Musk previously warned that Chinese carmakers would “demolish” their competitors if there were no trade barriers.

  • Author, Peter Hoskins
  • Role, Economic journalist

Tesla boss Elon Musk has spoken out against US tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), just days after President Joe Biden quadrupled levies on electric vehicles imported from China.

“Neither Tesla nor I asked for these prices,” the multi-billionaire told a technology conference in Paris via video link.

Mr. Musk’s comments contradict his warning in January that Chinese automakers would “demolish” competitors in other countries if there were no trade barriers.

Last week, the White House said new measures, including a 100% tariff on electric vehicles from China, were a response to unfair policies and aimed at protecting American jobs.

“I was actually surprised when they were announced. Things that hinder free trade or distort the market are not good,” Mr. Musk said on Thursday.

“Tesla is quite competitive in the Chinese market, without tariffs or deferential support. I am in favor of no customs duties,” he added.

Mr Biden has maintained a number of tariffs on China introduced by his predecessor Donald Trump, while increasing trade pressure on Beijing.

Last week, Mr. Biden pledged not to let China “unfairly control the market” for electric vehicles and other essential products, including batteries, computer chips and basic medical supplies.

China has said it is opposed to tariff hikes and will take retaliatory measures.

The Commerce Department’s announcement that it would investigate imports of polyoxymethylene copolymers – used in electronics and automobiles – was seen as a signal that China would retaliate in its trade disputes with the United States and Europe.

Also this week, China signaled it could impose tariffs of up to 25% on cars with large engines imported from the EU and the United States.

The Chinese Chamber of Commerce to the EU said it was informed of the possible decision by what it called “insiders.”

The European Commission (EC), which oversees EU trade policies, has given itself until July 4 to decide whether to impose measures against imports of electric vehicles made in China.

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Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe. Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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