Wednesday, January 22, 2020


We're all having a good laugh watching President Trump's conversation with CNBC's Joe Kernen in Davos:

But at the very end of that clip, watch Trump turn from a doddering old man into a Mafia don. Trump is talking about Elon Musk:
He’s going to be building a very big plant in the United States. He has to, because we help him, so he has to help us.
This is a threat. Maybe it's an empty threat, but it's meant as intimidation.

At, Fred Lambert notes that Musk appears to have no such plans:
Today, Donald Trump commented on Elon Musk and Tesla’s recent success on the stock market, and the US president ended his comments by saying that Tesla is going to “build a very big plant in the US.”

What is he talking about?

... Tesla recently started production at Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, Tesla’s first vehicle factory outside the US, and also recently announced Gigafactory 4 in Germany.

... As far as his comment about a Tesla factory, I don’t think he knows anything we don’t, but he might be right.

Elon has talked about Tesla building another factory in the US on a few occasions before. He even specifically mentioned a tri-state area at one point.
But that was in 2017:

As for the "we help him" part, Lambert is puzzled:
... I don’t know what Trump means by helping them. I assume he means subsidies that Tesla received over the years, but as we previously reported, this was only a fraction of the subsidies that fossil-fuel companies have received from the US government over the years.

Also, Trump apparently recently intervened to stop the EV tax credit reform, which would have made it a lot fairer to early proponents of electrification like Tesla.

Therefore, he hasn’t been helping Tesla much lately.
Trump's just trying to strong-arm Musk, the way he tries to strong-arm trading partners or NATO allies or Amazon or AT&T. He may be your embarrassing old granddad who doesn't seem to know what century it is, but he's still a thug at heart.

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