On his first full day as President of the United States of America, Donald Trump is again meeting with top American executives – something he did during the transition – in order to discuss manufacturing.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has met Trump and several of his top advisors on multiple occasions during the transition, is at the White House today for the meeting in another rapprochement with the administration.
Musk has since joined Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum and he attended a meeting with the then President-elect last month alongside several other tech executives – pictured above – and he reportedly had another private meeting following that.
It would be easy to simply assume that Musk and Trump have little in common since Trump has long been vocal about climate change not being an important issue and potentially even simply a “hoax”, while Musk has spent the last decade and most of his fortune trying to fight climate change through his businesses.
But considering those businesses involve creating manufacturing jobs in the US, it seems like they are finding some common ground that could result in a broader impact.
After those recent meetings and during a Q&A with investors earlier this month, Musk appeared to be more optimistic about the Trump administration’s view on renewable energy:
“The President-elect has a strong emphasis on US manufacturing and so do we. We are building the biggest factory in the world right here, creating US jobs… I think we may see some surprising things from the next administration. We don’t think they will be negative on fossil fuels… but they may also be positive on renewables.”
And today Musk has been seen at the White House to discuss manufacturing with the President and other executives. Here he is on the left:
Trump also confirmed the meeting earlier today:
So far, the only clear approach that Trump has been taking to manufacturing in the US is the threat of the implementation of a high tariff on importation.
Musk’s companies, Tesla and SpaceX, have been vertically integrating their manufacturing efforts for years now and therefore, they should be in a good position if it were to happen, but they still rely partly on oversea suppliers like most companies.
It will certainly be interesting to see what will come out of that meeting and hopefully, we will soon have a better idea of the Trump administration’s plan for manufacturing and its impact on the auto industry and its transition to electric propulsion.
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