Musk Blasts Biden’s Tariffs on Chinese EVs

Musk Slams New US Tariffs

CEO has come out strongly against the new US tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs). His comments follow President Joe Biden's decision to drastically increase these tariffs, quadrupling them in the process.

Musk, speaking via link at a tech conference in Paris, stated, “Neither Tesla nor I asked for these tariffs.”

This stance contradicts his earlier warning that Chinese car makers could “demolish” global competitors without trade barriers.

Biden's Tariff Hike

The Biden administration announced a new 100% tariff on Chinese EVs last week, citing the need to counteract what it sees as unfair policies and to protect American jobs, reports the BBC. Musk, however, believes that such measures are counterproductive.

“Things that inhibit freedom of exchange or distort the market are not good,” he said.

Tesla has thrived in without the need for tariffs or special support.

Musk added, “Tesla competes quite well in the market in China with no tariffs and no deferential support. I'm in favour of no tariffs.”

Trade Tensions on the Rise

Biden's move continues a trend of maintaining and increasing trade pressure on China, a policy approach initiated by former President Donald Trump. Biden recently declared he would not allow China to “unfairly control the market” for crucial goods like EVs, batteries, computer chips, and medical supplies.

In response, China has vowed to retaliate. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce launched an anti-dumping probe into imports of polyoxymethylene copolymer from the US, EU, , and Japan. This plastic is essential for electronics and automotive industries.

China has also hinted at imposing tariffs of up to 25% on cars with large engines imported from the EU and US, signaling further escalation in trade tensions. The China Chamber of Commerce to the EU has mentioned being informed about this potential move by “insiders.”

The European Commission has until July 4 to decide on measures against Chinese-made EVs, adding another layer of complexity to the trade landscape.

EVXL's Take

Elon Musk's opposition to tariffs underscores a significant debate about the best approach to global trade and market competition. His stance highlights the tension between protectionist policies and free market principles. As the EV market grows, the interplay between different countries' policies will shape the industry's future. Musk's comments remind us of the potential downsides of market distortions, advocating for a more open and competitive global market.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all electric vehicle-related news, covering brands such as Tesla, Ford, GM, BMW, Nissan and others. He fulfills a similar role at the drone news site Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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