Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on Thursday, calling on US President Donald Trump to address the existing US-China import duties and ownership constraints faced by American auto manufacturers operating in the Asian nation. Tesla has been exporting cars to China and accounts for almost nine per cent of the electric vehicles (EV) market in the country. We're going to be at those same numbers.
After referencing Musk's tweet, Trump suggested he would eventually enact a plan that would allow the U.S.to match any tariff imposed by other countries. All Tesla wanted was a fair outcome, "ideally where tariffs/rules are equally moderate".
'That's from Elon, but everybody knows it, ' Trump said. Meaning, same import duties, ownership constraints & other factors. 'They've known if for years, they never did anything about it.
He went on, "I am against import duties in general, but the current rules make things very hard".
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Baillie Gifford & Co. and T. Rowe Price Group, which combined own about 14 per cent of Tesla stock, indicated to Bloomberg News that they'll vote in favour of the board's proposal at a March 21 special meeting. To get around the 25 percent import tariff, though, the company has explored setting up a factory. For me, that's more fantastic than watching the rocket go up, 'cause I've never seen that before. Nothing more. Hope this does not seem unreasonable, ' Musk wrote.
On Twitter, Musk complained this was unfair since there are "five 100 [percent] China-owned EV auto companies in the U.S.", (presumably referring to startups like NIO, Faraday Future, SF Motors, and Byton). Sales of battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell-powered autos could surpass one million units this year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
"We think what Tesla has achieved so far is pretty remarkable, but there's more they can do in not just automotive, but the energy markets", Tom Slater, a Baillie Gifford partner and fund manager, said in an interview.