Investor's Corner

Tesla CEO Musk stoic as Trump talks about receiving environmental awards

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk couldn’t have looked more stoic Monday as he sat among other chief executives at President Trump’s breakfast meeting to discuss manufacturing. As we reported earlier in the day, Trump had vowed to cut regulations “massively” by 75% or more and impose a “major border tax” on companies looking to manufacture products abroad but sold in the United States. Trump relayed the stern message to the room of executives from companies, including Tesla, Ford, Lockheed Martin, Dell, U.S. Steel, and Johnson & Johnson.

“We’ll get to know each other very well.” said Trump, as he opened Monday’s manufacturing meeting with expectations that it would take place each quarter. “This is a worldwide meeting, and what we want to do is bring manufacturing back to our country.” Much of Monday’s meeting was spent on reaffirming the new President’s strong stance on creating U.S. jobs by bringing the workforce back into the country. However, the discussion would later take a brief turn towards the topic of environment.

Musk, who’s vision for the future largely encompasses mass adoption of sustainable mobility through electric vehicles powered by solar energy, sat rather expressionless as Trump praised himself on past environmental awards. “I’m a very big person when it comes to the environment. I have received awards on the environment.” said Trump, echoing rhetoric from his New Hampshire rally about wanting clean water and clean air.

One topic that seemingly grabs Musk’s attention during Monday’s meeting, as noted by a series of quick nods, was Trump’s discussion around factories. The serial tech entrepreneur is currently in the midst of building Tesla’s $5 billion Gigafactory in Nevada, expected to create 6,500 jobs when complete.

“When somebody wants to put up a factory, it’s going to be expedited. And you have to go through the process, but it’s going to be expedited. And we’re going to take care of the environment, we’re going to take care of safety, and all of the other things we’re going to take care of. But you’re going to get such great service. There will be no country that going to be faster, better, more fair, and at the same time protecting the people of the country.” said Trump, while placing emphasis on regulation reduction.

It’s unclear how Trump’s stance on building factories in the United States will impact Musk’s plans to construct a second Gigafactory facility in Europe. We expect this to be a topic raised during Tesla’s next quarterly financials call with analysts.

We’ve included a video from Live Satellite News that shows the beginning of Trump’s Monday meeting with Musk and other corporate executives.

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