Musk asks Trump for equal, fair vehicle import tariffs


On Thursday, Trump said he meant to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, but may exempt imports from Canada. "They've known it for years".

The tweet followed Musk's initial message to Trump, where Musk asked Trump's opinion of the disparity between the U.S. and China's vehicle import policies. However, disagreements with the Chinese government forced the company to delay the construction of its new Shanghai factory. However, Tesla and Chinese authorities have yet to announce an agreement.

Most notably, Musk tweeted a video that shows what this vision might look like. Telsa officials in China declined to comment. "To be clear, I think a fair outcome for all is quite likely".

Musk described the pod-like vehicle in a response to another Twitter user's question: "I guess you could say it's a 150 miles per hour, underground, autonomous, electric bus that automatically switches between tunnels and lifts".

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Tesla shares were down half a per cent at $327.25 after markets closed on Thursday.

The tweets came one day after Trump wrote that his administration had asked Beijing to cut the annual US trade deficit by $100 billion (though his tweet mistakenly listed the amount at $1 billion).

He added that "when China or another country charges us 50 percent tariffs - more than that in some cases - and we charge them nothing, that's not fair". Those are problems for Tesla, which wants to expand its presence in China's growing electric vehicle market without compromising its independence or intellectual property.

He tweeted, "For example, an American vehicle going to China pays 25 per cent import duty, but a Chinese auto coming to the United States only pays 2.5 per cent, a tenfold difference" and "I am against import duties in general, but the current rules make things very hard".

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Musk said that the high tariffs on cars imported to China, as well as manufacturing rules in the Asian country, have made things "very difficult" for the company. "Meaning, same import duties, ownership constraints & other factors", Musk said.

Trump and Musk have a rocky history.

Though economists, fact-checkers and even members of Trump's own party have called the president's global trade analysis into question, inventor and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk appears to agree (in part) with Trump. In June 2017, Musk withdrew from a pair of White House advisory councils after Trump said he would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

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