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Elon Musk to Donald Trump: ‘We build rockets, cars, and solar stuff – really excited about expanding our manufacturing footprint in the US.’


Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was among 15 tech executives taking part in President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting with Silicon Valley’s top brass. His presence stood out when you consider that Trump opened the meeting by saying:

“I won’t tell you the hundreds of calls we had asking to come to this meeting. Peter [Thiel] was sort of saying “no, that company is too small,” and these are monster companies…”

Musk’s companies are dwarfed by the sizes of the other companies at the table, which makes his presence more interesting – especially in light of his nomination to Trump’s Strategic and Policy Team.

Here are the market capitalizations of the companies at the meeting in order of most to least valuable (via TMC):

  • Apple — $616 billion
  • Alphabet — $555 billion
  • Microsoft — $489 billion
  • Amazon — $366 billion
  • Facebook — $347 billion
  • Intel — $173 billion
  • Oracle — $167 billion
  • IBM — $160 billion
  • Cisco — $154 billion
  • Tesla — $32 billion
  • SpaceX — ~$15 billion

The jump from Cisco’s $154 billion to Tesla’s $32 billion is quite significant.

Aside from a quick introduction, the 2-hour long meeting wasn’t made public, and not a lot of information came out of it. Our sister site, 9to5mac, published an interesting roundup highlighting the fact that they covered a variety of topics, mainly centering around immigration, jobs, and China.

Only Musk’s quick intro during the meeting was released to the public (see video below):

“Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, building rockets, and cars, and solar stuff in the US – actually really excited about expanding our manufacturing footprint in the US”

As we reported yesterday, Tesla currently employs over 30,000 people, more than 25,000 of which are in the US. Tesla wants to add over 3,000 manufacturing jobs at its factory in Fremont, California, 1,000 at its solar panel factory in Buffalo, New York, and up to 9,000 at the Gigafactory in Nevada.

After all the other executives followed with their own intro, Trump addressed the room:

“Anything we can do to help this go along, we’ll be there for you. You’ll call my people, you’ll call me. It doesn’t make any difference,” Trump continued. “We have no formal chain of command around here.”

It seems to reinforce the increasingly popular idea that for better or worse, if renewable energy companies like Tesla want to succeed in the new political environment in the US, they will need to emphasize their capacity in creating jobs and not the potential to curb production of carbon emissions.

Musk and Apple CEO Tim Cook were also supposed to meet privately with Trump after the group meeting, but details of the encounter were not made public.

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