Tesla CEO Elon Musk Sides With Donald Trump Over China Tariffs

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk reached out to President Donald Trump on Thursday through Twitter-the pair's favorite means of communication-to lobby for the US and China to reach an agreement on equal and fair rules for cars. The company sold $1 billion of electric cars in China in 2016, and today it accounts for about 9 percent of China's electric vehicle market.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is siding with Donald Trump saying that China isn't playing fair when it comes to the vehicle trade with the United States. "Just want a fair outcome, ideally where tariffs/rules are equally moderate".

Talk of tariffs on aluminum and steel has captivated conversation in the nation's capital ever since Trump tweeted that "trade wars are good, and easy to win" earlier this month.

"Hope this does not seem unreasonable", he tweeted in conclusion. On Thursday afternoon, Trump signed two proclamations that implement tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, but exempt Canada and Mexico.

The Tesla chief executive officer served on two White House advisory councils before stepping down in June a year ago after the president announced he would pull the USA out of the Paris climate accord, but last month, Trump tweeted his congratulations to Musk following a successful launch by Space Exploration Technologies Corp, another one of Musk's companies.

The Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce did not immediately respond to calls and faxed requests for comment.

Late Thursday, Musk struck a more hopeful tone.

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Tesla shares closed down 1 percent on Thursday and were off almost another percent in after-market trading.

China requires overseas automakers to form joint ventures with local manufacturers in which the foreign companies are capped at 50 percent ownership. He added that he planned to charge other countries "mirror taxes" for what American products face. On top of a 25% tax on imported vehicles, China doesn't allow foreign auto companies full ownership of their Chinese production plants.

These policies have frustrated Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who wants to capitalize on the country's growing demand for electric vehicles.

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

"That's from Elon, but everybody knows it", Trump said.

Musk, 46, was a member of Trump's advisory council before stepping down following the president's decision in June to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.

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