Musk to US: You Owe Me Tariff Money, Plus Interest

Tesla, other major automakers suing the government over trade war with China
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2020 8:21 AM CDT
Elon Musk to US: Repay Me for China Tariffs, With Interest
Elon Musk wears a face mask in Berlin on Sept. 2.   (Tobias Schwarz/Pool via AP)

Elon Musk isn't just calling for the US to end new tariffs on Chinese products—he wants a refund for the money's he already paid, plus interest. Musk's car company, Tesla, filed a lawsuit against the US this week over the import tariffs, as did automakers Ford, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz, reports AFP. Tesla's lawsuit calls the tariffs, which are part of a wider US-China trade war, "arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion." The other companies make similar cases. Mercedes, for instance, complains that US law “did not confer authority on defendants to litigate a vast trade war for however long, and by whatever means, they choose."

Tesla's suit, filed in New York with the US Court of International Trade, names US trade representative Robert Lighthizer as a defendant, per CNBC. The company is particularly worried about the price of components that make up what it calls the "brain" of its Model 3 autopilot system. Tesla had applied for a waiver from the 25% tariffs but was denied last year. The lawsuits are the latest of hundreds of suits to be filed in the court against the tariffs, reports Bloomberg. (US intelligence officials are accusing China of interfering in the 2020 election.)

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