Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has expressed his preference for “no tariffs” on electric vehicles from China.

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Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla and SpaceX and owner of X Holdings Corp., recently expressed his opinion at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Musk made it clear that he does not support President Biden’s decision to impose tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles.

“Neither Tesla nor I asked for these tariffs,” Musk mentioned during a Q&A session at the VivaTech conference in Paris. “In fact, I was surprised when they were announced.”

The Biden administration announced a 100% tariff on Chinese-made electric vehicle imports as a countermeasure to prevent cheap Chinese EVs from saturating the U.S. market. White House officials argue that Beijing’s subsidies are fueling overproduction of affordable clean energy products like solar panels and EVs, surpassing domestic demand.

Tesla has encountered challenges this year due to various factors such as an aging EV lineup, reduced consumer demand for its vehicles, and heightened global competition, notably in China. The company’s revenue took a hit in the first quarter, marking its most significant decline since 2012, while the stock price plummeted by almost 30% in 2024.

During the VivaTech conference, Musk stressed, “Tesla competes effectively in the Chinese market without tariffs and differential support. I am in favor of a tariff-free environment.” This stance marks a shift from Musk’s earlier remarks where he hinted at potential dominance of Chinese EV companies without trade restrictions.

“Frankly, I think, if there are no trade barriers established, they will pretty much demolish most other companies in the world,” Musk stated during the company’s earnings call back in January.

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