Tesla chief Musk says China trade rules uneven, asks Trump for help

Метро будущего Илон Маск показал новую разработку

In a series of tweets before a scheduled announcement from the White House on Thursday about new tariffs on steel and aluminum, Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested to President Trump that the US should seek more "equal & fair" trade rules for cars with China. Musk noted that China charges a 25 percent import duty on cars, ten times the 2.5 percent levy the US puts on China-built vehicles.

"I am against import duties in general, but the current rules make things very hard".

Musk has faced roadblocks while trying to build a Tesla factory in Shanghai.

"No U.S. auto company is allowed to own even 50 percent of their own factory in China, but there are five 100 percent China-owned EV (electric vehicle) auto companies in the U.S.", Musk wrote in another tweet. "Just want a fair outcome, ideally where tariffs/rules are equally moderate". Trump was discussing the tariff bill and its possible effects when he read a printed copy of Musk's tweet. "They've known it for years".

During the steel and aluminum tariff news conference, Trump used Musk's example of China's car-import levies to reiterate plans for what he has called a "reciprocal tax".

Last year, Musk announced on Twitter that he had received "verbal government approval" for The Boring Company to build an underground Hyperloop system connecting NY city, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC.

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Tesla has been looking to reduce its import duties to China by manufacturing their vehicles locally.

Though automakers like General Motors say the vast majority of the steel they use is domestic in origin, experts warn that tariffs will increase the price of steel and auto parts, as well as the price of cars. Sources also said that Trump asked Beijing for a $100 million reduction in the United States trade deficit.

"Do you think the US & China should have equal & fair rules for cars?"

In a nutshell, the program will require countries to pay the same amount of taxes to what they are charging. "Meaning, same import duties, ownership constraints & other factors", Musk tweeted in response to Trump's post about the China trade deal.

Musk has met with Trump on several occasions since his election in November 2016. The plans are so far unspecified, though Trump said "we're going to be doing a lot of that". 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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