Elon Does U-Turn, Opposes Tariffs on Chinese Electric Vehicles

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., speaks during a delivery ceremony for Tesla Model S sedan in Beijing, China, 22 April 2014. Tesla Motors Inc. began deliveries of the Model S sedan in China as Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tested the reluctance of consumers in the worlds largest auto market to buy electric cars. The billionaire chairman hosted an event on Tuesday (22 April 2014) to mark the occasion, according to the Palo Alto, California-based company. The electric-car maker has been taking orders since August and opened an 800-square-meter (8,600 square feet) store in a Beijing shopping mall late last year to showcase its vehicles.

Fiscally speaking, the health of many Americans across the country has declined in recent years. A recent article published last summer by Yahoo Finance made the assertion that the average American family has lost over $7,000 in spending power due to inflation since the inauguration of President Joe Biden in January of 2021. This article cited data collected by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy think tank located in Washington D.C.. Another article promoted by the Pew Research center released nearly six years ago in 2018 shows graphs that outline the plight of many middle class Americans; wages have really not budged in decades, and Americans have stagnated. As wages remain flat, costs continue to rise. 

In truth, Americans everywhere have been facing a declining economy for decades, regardless of “illusions” of health and prosperity. Since the 1990s, the country has lost millions of stable paying manufacturing jobs to outsourcing and automation. The nations politicians are largely to blame for this precipitous decline. Bill Clinton, ( and even prior to Clinton under the Bush and Reagan Republican administrations) promoted economic globalization and the notorious NAFTA trade agreement removed restrictions and tariffs that had placed limits on American companies in terms of where they could produce their products. Accordingly, entire communities centered around manufacturing have been decimated across the union as jobs have shipped overseas never to return. The median income of males without a college diploma fell by 20% from 1990 and 2013, showing just how difficult the plight of many citizens has become. 

One entrepreneur and industrial mogul, Elon Musk (the owner of Tesla) had initially supported the reintroduction of tariffs on Chinese imports and other electronic materials, citing the need to protect American manufacturing and innovation from foreign competition. Recently though, Musk has done a complete about face, and now has stated he opposes tariffs and is in favor of globalization. The divide between rich and poor grows.