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Tesla founder Elon Musk has voiced his opposition to US tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs).

In a statement made to tech investors in Paris on Thursday, Musk expressed his disapproval of market-distorting measures. This marks a significant shift from his earlier stance in January, when he cautioned that trade barriers were essential to prevent Chinese automakers from overpowering their global competitors. 


Musk stated, “Neither Tesla nor I asked for these tariffs; in fact, I was surprised when they were announced. Things that inhibit freedom of exchange or distort the market are not good.”

He added, “Tesla competes quite well in the market in China with no tariffs and no deferential support. I’m in favour of no tariffs.” This contrasts sharply with his January warning during a post-earnings analyst call where he predicted that without trade barriers, Chinese automakers would “demolish most other car companies in the world.”

This month, President Joe Biden announced new tariffs on a variety of Chinese imports, including EVs, aiming to bolster American manufacturing. The administration has upheld several tariffs introduced by former President Donald Trump and has increased others, with EV duties now exceeding 100%. The White House noted that these measures affect $18 billion worth of imported Chinese goods.


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