Economy

Donald Trump and Elon Musk are slamming Obama's trade deficit

Donald Trump and Elon Musk are slamming Obama's trade deficit

As President Donald Trump voices optimism in negotiating with China to reduce the "masside trade deficit" with the US, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has asked the administration to focus automotive import tariffs and factory ownership restrictions. "Meaning, same import duties, ownership constraints & other factors", Musk said. "It's like competing in an Olympic race wearing lead shoes", Musk wrote. All Tesla wanted was a fair outcome, "ideally where tariffs/rules are equally moderate". "Nothing more. Hope this does not seem unreasonable", Musk tweeted.

Trump's tariff announcement is thought to be limited to steel and aluminum, though there are scant details on specifics of the plan.

Jaguar’s i Pace will launch later this year
Jaguar’s i Pace will launch later this year

Trump Administration officials said that policy could become official this week.

In a press conference Thursday afternoon announcing the steel and aluminum tariffs, Trump cited Musk's tweet about the car-tariff differential between the USA and China. "We just want fairness". They're saving the boosters. But to get around the high tariff, Tesla has indicated support for opening a factory in China - although Musk has resisted partnering with local manufacturers like other vehicle companies do. They came back, without wings, without anything. "They landed so beautifully".

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"Very interesting, I saw a tweet just came in from Elon Musk, who is using our wonderful space facilities and did a great job three weeks ago..." Musk added that no American auto company can own a factory in China and must instead rely on Chinese-run factories to produce vehicles. However, Tesla and Chinese authorities have yet to announce an agreement.

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". China, which is the largest worldwide US trade partner, is a major importer of both steel and solar panels.

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Earlier this week, Trump threatened to impose a 25 percent tariff on automobiles imported from Europe.

Musk has met with Trump on several occasions since his election in November 2016. The Tesla chief executive officer served on two White House advisory councils before stepping down in June after the president announced he would pull the USA out of the Paris climate accord.

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