U.S. Government Denies Tesla and Uber Chinese Tariff Exemptions

Illustration for article titled U.S. Government Denies Tesla and Uber Chinese Tariff Exemptions
Photo: David Zalubowski (AP)

The U.S. is doubling down on its refusal to exempt Tesla’s and Uber’s request to dodge a 25 percent tariff on key parts for its electric cars and entire e-scooters because they are coming from China.


Both companies submitted a request to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative asking to be exempted from the new 25 percent import tariffs on the Chinese goods they use for their products, as Reuters reports:

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) rejected requests to exempt the Model 3 car computer and center screen in May 29 letters, saying they both concern “a product strategically important or related to ‘Made in China 2025,’ or other Chinese industrial programs.”

In May, Reuters reported USTR had rejected a separate request by Tesla to exempt the Autopilot “brain” from the tariffs.

Separately, the USTR denied Uber Technologies Inc’s request on May 29 for an exemption from the 25% tariff for its Chinese-made electric bikes that customers rent through its app. Uber declined to comment.

The denials of relief for more than 1,000 products to date among $50 billion in imports hit last year with U.S. tariffs illustrate a systematic approach by the Trump administration to thwart China’s efforts to develop high-technology industries that Washington alleges benefited from theft and forced transfer of U.S. intellectual property.


It’s bad news for Tesla if it isn’t able to easily import what it calls the “brain” of its Model 3s, warning that the government’s decision will cause economic harm to Tesla by increasing the cost of its products. In its exemption request, Tesla noted that it required the use of the Chinese manufacturer; anything else would have delayed Model 3 production “by 18 months.”

It’s also not ideal when you take into consideration Tesla’s recent cost-cutting efforts with its $35,000 Model 3 (which have already been kind of redacted anyway). Or when you consider that the part it’s missing is crucial for the Autonomous mode it has been pushing.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Freelancer. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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Left Lane is for Passing

I support this effort 1000%. China is a shitstorm of a manufacturing state. They dont give a rats ass about the global environment. They dont give a rats ass about their citizens. They dont give a rats ass about anyone else. I honestly dont know who they actually protect (rhetorical question, its the “leaders”). Trump is a dumb fuck. Everyone knows this....BUT this dumb fuck at least is making an attempt to “force” US companies to stop using that POS country for its manufacturing. China is killing is citizens (due to unregulated industrial work) and killing the entire planet as we know it (with little to zero regulation on industrial waste....all that stuff floats/dissolves to everywhere else in the world).

If our products increase in price, isnt it for the best? If we begin to outsource manufacturing to other more heavily regulated countries we may be able to at least relieve some of the terrible practices from China that effect our daily lives and our childrens future planet.

But here we go again, looking at the near sighted picture of your $60k Tesla being $68 more expensive. Come on environmentalist, come on human rights activists, where is YOUR support for these tariffs?