Elon Musk disapproves of U.S. tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, calls for free trade

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25th May 2024 – (Paris) Tesla CEO Elon Musk openly expressed his opposition to the imposition of U.S. tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs). Speaking at the VivaTech conference in Paris via video link on Thursday, Musk stated that neither Tesla nor himself had advocated for these tariffs and that their announcement came as a surprise.

When questioned about the Biden administration’s decision to raise tariffs on imported EVs from China to 100 per cent, Musk emphasized that Tesla competes effectively in the Chinese market without any tariffs or preferential support. He further asserted his general support for eliminating tariffs altogether, stating that restrictions on free trade and market distortions are detrimental.

Meanwhile, Tesla marked a significant milestone by initiating construction on a mega factory in Shanghai dedicated to manufacturing its energy-storage batteries, known as Megapacks. This mega factory represents Tesla’s first facility of its kind outside the United States and serves as the company’s second plant in Shanghai. The groundbreaking event for this project took place on Thursday.

Tesla’s investment in the Shanghai gigafactory in 2019, which exceeded 50 billion yuan (approximately 7 billion U.S. dollars), has already proven successful. The new mega factory for Megapacks adds to Tesla’s manufacturing capabilities in China, solidifying the company’s commitment to the rapidly growing Chinese market.