Tesla CEO Elon Musk Joins President Trump’s Manufacturing Council

6 months ago by Steven Loveday 56

President-Elect Trump and Tesla CEO Elon Musk - strange bedfellows?

President Donald Trump and Tesla CEO Elon Musk at one of a few recent meetings

President Trump voiced a top goal of promoting U.S. jobs and assuring that the American workforce prospers. This was one of the key elements of his mantra “making America great again.” To move the concept forward, Trump has started a manufacturing council, and it comes as no surprise – due to other recent developments – that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is in the club.

The Manufacturing Council has a "mixed" member base, with the likes of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ford CEO Mark Fields

The Manufacturing Council has a “mixed” member base, with the likes of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ford CEO Mark Fields

The group includes other key players in the manufacturing sector, including its leader, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris. Trump has given negative lip service to American companies that are outsourcing work and he has already awarded himself for saving American jobs.

United Technologies eliminated jobs in Mexico, so as not to face any concerns with the new administration. The manufacturing council will not only reward companies for creating jobs in the U.S., but will also penalize those that don’t. United Technologies will receive $7 million from the government over the next several years, for its “wise choice.”

The manufacturing council also includes the likes of Ford CEO Mark Fields, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, GE’s Jeff Immelt, and Dennis Muilenburg of Boeing, among others.

Musk has already faced many questions as to why he is supporting the new administration, and more specifically, ex-oil tycoon Rex Tillerson, the new U.S. Secretary of State. Skeptics feel that Trump’s policies will hurt companies like Tesla, more than they will help. However, this two-fold setup, explained above, may allow terms for agreeable reciprocation. Musk has shared his own opinions on government regulation in the past. He said:

“If a regulator agrees to change a rule and something bad happens, they can easily lose their career. Whereas if they change a rule and something good happens, they don’t even get a reward. So, it’s very asymmetric … How would any rational person behave in such a scenario?”

Many Americans and U.S. companies also have grave concerns that, although jobs will come back to the country, and much less will be outsourced, and imports will slow, the financial burden will fall on American citizens. Without the ties to “cheaper” labor and products, someone has to pay for it. One way that the Trump administration hopes to help is by cutting the corporate tax rate. This way, the money can come back into the U.S. economy.

Source: Teslarati

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56 responses to "Tesla CEO Elon Musk Joins President Trump’s Manufacturing Council"

  1. AlphaEdge says:

    Too much politics, does not make for interesting discussion here.

    What’s the power rating on the Model 3 motor/motors? Has it been disclosed yet?

    1. James says:

      I don’t think you can separate politics from Tesla now, unless you just want to hum a really loud song to yourself to drown out the news.

      That said, I think this is about Tesla’s survival in a very unfriendly environment for renewables and EV’s, and especially renewables. Now that Tesla’s fate is inextricably tied to Solar City’s, we all better take politics deadly serious if we hope to see a Model 3 in the next 4-8 years. Musk spoke his truth about Trump previously, and now he’s being expedient. That’s life. As long as he isn’t asked to make planes for Trump’s Luftwaffe, I’m okay with that.

      1. CDAVIS says:

        @James said: “Now that Tesla’s fate is inextricably tied to Solar City’s, we all better take politics deadly serious if we hope to see a Model 3 in the next 4-8 years.”
        —–

        Model 3 will start low volume production in Q4 2017 and ramp up mid 2018…work off order deep backlog by end 2019…~2-3 month delivery time by 2020.

        1. Four Electrics says:

          That timeline is in now way assured. Past performance is a more reliable predictor than Tesla’s PR department. Tesla can’t even make their promised numbers for their existing cars.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Based on the past performance of FUD in “Four Electrics” comments, we can be sure that 99-44/100% of what he posts is pure anti-Tesla hater cult B.S.

        2. Paul Smith says:

          I understand your frustration at not being able to get yours sooner.

    2. MDEV says:

      I think is not optional, in a common sense world science and progress just may go alone with political climate, unfortunately the cabal or science deniers found their way to access key parts of the government, so be aside is not an option, Shell, Exxon, BP, Kock brothers, carbon business and religious fanatics will start to derail progress including electrification and clean energy.

  2. Eco says:

    Elon, JB and Tesla are showing the way, replace the menial, repetitive jobs with advanced AI/robotics, then hire local highly skilled robotics technicians and engineers to keep the robots working. Those highly skilled workers get good wages & benefits that we expect in America, and the manufacturing is still competitive. Everybody wins except the unskilled workers. Moral of the story … if you want to work in 21st century manufacturing you better get some skills …

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        -49

        1. Just_Chris says:

          If you think it takes skill and years of training to maintain a modern robot or any other piece of manufacturing equipment you are mistaken. There are fewer and fewer jobs in all sectors – including manufacturing engineering.

          People talk about “manufacturing” jobs as if a modern auto line if full of lines of people screwing bolts onto big lumps of metal. That sort of manufacturing job ended in the 1990’s, if not before. The machines that are currently coming onto the line build faster, cost less, last longer, require less maintenance and take less time and skill to program. Just look at Fords recent announcement about keeping jobs in the USA – they cancelled a $1.2 billion investment in Mexico and saved 700 US jobs – unless it costs over a million dollars to hire and house an average Ford worker that is a lot more machine than man.

          1. Oswald says:

            If you don’t think factories are filled with thousands of people bolting things to sheet metal, than you haven’t been in a factory. Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant builds F-150s and Transits and employ 7,465 people.
            https://corporate.ford.com/company/plant-detail-pages/kansas-city-assembly-plant.html

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Elon has been talking about eliminating 90% of the human workers at the Fremont auto assembly plant. If he reaches that goal, nine out of 10 workers will be out of a job.

      It’s only the 1%-ers who sit around and brag about being “job creators”, while actually destroying good jobs and telling themselves that all those people who can’t find good jobs are lazy or aren’t trying hard enough.

      That’s not truth, it’s rationalization for the 1%-er kleptocrats figuring out more and more ways to keep all the wealth for themselves, while driving more and more of the middle class into poverty, and making the working poor even more impoverished.

      Real “job creators” are those who figure out ways to give more people jobs with a decent living wage… not how to eliminate more and more jobs.

      Resist.

      https://www.facebook.com/indivisibleguide/

      1. MDEV says:

        I can’t believe you listen news in Facebook, I think Fox is more reliable.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I don’t read Facebook for news; I prefer such sources as the PBS News Hour, BBC News, and Time magazine. You’re certainly correct to note that fake news is all too prevalent on Facebook.

          I posted that link because it’s one of the top Google “hits” for the Indivisible movement(s). If you’re interested, just Google “indivisible movement” and choose your own sources of info.

      2. SparkEV says:

        Keeping wealth for themselves? What, they keep their money under their mattresses?

        Fact is, rich keep their money invested and hardly any money “for themselves”. Those investments are used to create companies which hire people.

        Now if you take their money and give to the “poor”, they won’t invest their money but rather spend it at Walmart in Chinese made trinkets. Sure, it will spur Walmart jobs, but much of it will go to China. Since you will prevent any from getting rich enough to invest, what will end up is economy like Venezuela and North Korea.

        All these left wingers hate of the “rich” is pure ignorance and envy. What we need is admiration of the rich so more will strive to be so, not demonizing them for making US one of the biggest innovators in the world.

        1. Roy_H says:

          So tell me again how by investing their money to make themselves richer results in their money not being theirs? Your argument that they create jobs side steps the issue at hand which is their money does not get re-distributed to the poor. Hiring poor people is good, but they only do it to make themselves richer. And the easiest way to do that is to pay pitiful wages.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          SparkEV said:

          “Those investments are used to create companies which hire people.”

          You mean, those investments are used to buy out companies which then fire people and move the jobs overseas.

          But then, I certainly didn’t expect you to face reality here, Sparky. Not only do you see the unemployed and working poor as lazy and undeserving, you describe them as disease-ridden vermin who spread filth everywhere.

          Now, what does your attitude toward all economically disadvantaged Americans remind me of? Oh, yeah, that infamous WW II Axis propaganda film which used swarms of rats to represent people who belonged to a certain religious minority, people who were subjected to genocide during that war…

          http://tinyurl.com/huojdgx

          1. TomArt says:

            Exactly, P-P! Every time a company announces layoffs, their stock jumps, because the traders know that the loss of workers means more profits, not better wages and benefits for the workers that are still there, probably being overworked.

            The propaganda is simple, but effective – it’s no mistake or accident that right-wing media (which is just about all of them in terms of economic leanings) keeps calling the 1%-ers “job creators”. It’s a pile of crap, but it has effectively brainwashed trailerpark residents to protest tax rates for the 1%-ers. Too sad to be funny, because it’s true.

      3. SparkEV says:

        What is “living wage” to you is very different from Octo-mom and healthy 18 year old who could share a room in an apartment. To force “living wage” with government mandate is forcing companies “from each for his ability, to each for his need” with the “need” far more costly than “ability” can produce.

        The left will never be happy with wages no matter how high the wages get. This is why every country that forced “living wage” failed.

        1. Liz says:

          Hello Mr. SparkEV,
          I was wondering what it is you do for a living and to which tax bracket you were born and I assume you are male, white, and possibly over 40????
          Thanks, Liz

        2. Liz says:

          Also if you could please give examples of countries which have failed when their population earned a wage on which they could survive? I am not clear on this. I assume you are talking about France’s health care system or a socialized country like the Netherlands. But maybe you have some actual examples.

        3. Ocean Railroader says:

          Spark EV

          In terms of a living wage my way of calculating the living wage is not something that I pull out of a hat.

          My idea of a living wage law for a area would something that would be calculated out of logic.

          Such as I would take the avenge price of renting a two bedroom apartment a month. Along with the average cost of food for two people along with the costs of owning a used car for a month. And then calculate the average hourly wage someone would need to work 40 hours a week at eight hours a day to suport the above things without government help.

          That’s how I would calculate the living wage.

        4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          SparkEV said:

          “The left will never be happy with wages no matter how high the wages get. This is why every country that forced ‘living wage’ failed.”

          At least Elon Musk, while advocating for using more and more robots which will end good paying jobs, also recognizes the reality that if robots take away jobs, then a “universal living wage” must be put in place for all those displaced workers, since the net number of jobs with good pay will continue to shrink. See link below.

          Contrariwise, Sparky, based on your description of the poor and the economically struggling as if they’re vermin, no doubt you think they should be exterminated instead. Even for someone like myself, someone who thinks we need draconian population control to deal with overpopulation on a planetary scale, I find your implied solution to be unsupportable.

          http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/18/elon-musk-says-robots-will-push-us-to-a-universal-basic-income-heres-how-it-would-work.html

          1. TomArt says:

            The US states with the highest minimum wages are also doing the best – California, Massachusetts, etc.

            A coworker of mine has a friend who runs a small business in Connecticut (sandwich shop, I think…something food related). This owner complained and complained about the minimum wage increase. And then, when he was done complaining, his next sentence was, “You know, business has never been better.” The fool never made the connection – when people can afford to live, then your business will improve. Very simple. The demand is there, and the supply is ready, but without sufficient money for that demand to be realized, it’s lost opportunity.

          2. TomArt says:

            Besides, if places like Walmart paid a proper minimum wage, then the rolls of welfare recipients would drop, to the tune of $Billions per year for the Federal Gov’t. Walmart is one of the biggest corporate welfare recipients because their labor force is paid so poorly that their kids still get free school lunches, and their families are on food stamps! To make matters worse, many are part-time, so they don’t get any benefits (no health insurance) nor stability in their weekly pay.

            But people are willing to sell their souls and sacrifice millions on the Altar of the Almighty Dollar. Just ask Trump…

    2. Ocean Railroader says:

      Dude that would be a disaster for people like me and most of the people that I know.

      The trouble with that augment is that it’s based off the idea that everyone in school got A pluses in Math when in reality a lot of people didn’t.

      The reality is it would create a French Style revolution or worse a Russian style Revolution were people who work in jobs like that would be destroyed if tens of millions of people have no jobs but the bills keep rising and the Haves keep asking them to pay these rising bills.

    3. Scott Franco says:

      Eeeeexactly. Foreign competition is not the “job killer” in the long run, automation is. And indeed, manufacturing is being repatriated on that basis, since with automation, the advantage of cheap labor disappears. Elon is a leading edge of that, and in fact Tesla’s existence is a testimony to the fact that the domestic car manufacturers are not automating or improving their base technologies fast enough.

      1. Scott Franco says:

        In fact, if I can expand on that theme, you can’t go wrong investing in companies based on their rate of automation. My industry, silicon chips, is automated to about the maximum it can be done. Our chips are all made by machine, usually untouched by human hands, and even the transportation of chips from machine to machine is automated. How were companies like TMSC (Taiwan) able to complete? It was not by putting more cheap labor on the subject.

        LCD screens and photo voltaic cells (solar panels) are illustrative. These were considered lower tech by USA makers, and the Asian producers automated the hell out of them and took the market away from USA producers.

        The future belongs to the automaters and employees who are smarter. If you wish to remain stupid, you can get a job at Mcdonald’s (America’s cafeteria) but even that is going away.

        1. Ocean Railroader says:

          In therms of Automation I kind of think there are limits to how much automation there can be at a place.

          Such as when I look at the program How It’s Made there are a lot of highly automated production lines with two to three people on it and they are making hundreds and hundreds of things a hour. I don’t see how some of these things could become more automated then they are already.

          I expect the Tesla Giga Factory to make all of the batteries by automation considering how small they are in that they are not going to have tens of thousands of people gluing lids on to C batteries all day at the place.

  3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    As someone observed in an InsideEVs comment on an earlier similar subject, it’s likely that Elon’s willingness to “play nice” with the Trumpsters has a lot more to do with him being the CEO of SpaceX than with him being the CEO of Tesla Motors.

    The U.S. Government is SpaceX’s main customer. That being the case, I suppose Elon has no choice but to work with the Trumpsters as closely as possible. It’s either that, or sell off SpaceX to someone else.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      Trump did clearly say he wants NASA to do more manned missions then going after global warming.

      I personally want NASA to do more manned missions and space flight.

      I however don’t think Trump cares one way or another about electric cars.

      1. Foo says:

        Electric cars. Cord is way too short — can’t drive very far. Total disaster. Sad.

        1. DangerHV says:

          Response to Foo and only Foo:
          Someone has added a battery to an electric car so it doesn’t need a long cord.

          1. Foo says:

            Psst… DangerHV, it was joke. As in, Trump doesn’t understand that electric cars don’t “just” plug into the wall.

            1. Foo, are you saying Trump might be thinking it is going to take a ‘Yuuuge’ Extension Cord to drive a Tesla from LA to NY? /;*)

      2. CDAVIS says:

        @ Ocean Railroader said: “…I however don’t think Trump cares one way or another about electric cars.”
        —-

        Trump owns a Tesla Roadster…

        1. Four Electrics says:

          How often do you think Trump drives himself?

          1. CDAVIS says:

            About as often as someone that has no interest in eletric cars owning one.

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            More often than you make a post here which includes no Tesla bashing or “alternative facts”, that’s for sure, 4E.

      3. kubel says:

        He doesn’t care about electric cars, but he cares about domestic energy and domestic manufacturing. Electric cars score both points, particularly Tesla.

    2. philip d says:

      Even more damaging would be if Donald follows through with his threat to slap a 35% tariff on imported autos.

      https://www.google.com/amp/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1500VJ?client=ms-android-hms-tmobile-us

      If he did this those same countries would reciprocate and put their own tariffs on American cars including Tesla. If Tesla loses its ability to export it will destroy their revenue model just as the Model 3 is ready to roll off the line.

      If you think that sounds crazy he just did crazy with his hasty, vaguely written and confusing executive order on immigration. He certainly is capable of this.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I thought that Trump couldn’t unilaterally impose tariffs on imports from foreign countries; that the Constitution left imposition of tariffs strictly in the hands of Congress.

        Unfortunately, despite what it says in the Constitution, I was wrong.

        http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/23/news/economy/trump-tariff-power/

        Resist.

        http://www.citylab.com/politics/2017/01/the-local-resistance-to-president-trump-begins/513191/

    3. TomArt says:

      Well, all of these people were invited…so, if Musk was invited, then he is clearly on the administration’s radar…a shortlist that can only mean who-knows-what…out of self defense, I would join, as well, and see just how far the rabbit hole goes…

  4. leafowner says:

    Listen – Trump knows that GM and Ford have lost their status as a global sought-after brand. BMW, Toyota, and most other Japanese and German (and even Korean) brands are sought after before a GM or Ford. Low and behold, a new US car brand, Tesla, is becoming the most desired car brand globally…….if you were the President — wouldn’t you promote this?!? Trump may be a bit nuts but he is not stupid — and betting on Tesla to revive the US auto sectors standing globally is the right move.

    1. We wil know that Trump wants Tesla to succeed, when he shuts down the NADA winers across the USA, and opens the door for Tesla to sell direct in every state, and finds other ways to remove more red tape Tesla is fighting!

      Also, when he sets up better terms for International Trade, that can benefit this fast growing US Company!

      He did say, if you need anything, just ask!

  5. Kdawg says:

    This all seems like a big government-money-grab by corporations.

    1. TomArt says:

      Trump’s cabinet appointments are proof of that. “Drain the swamp” my ass! All Trump did was remove the middle-man! Instead of these CEOs having to buy politicians for him to appoint, he just appointed the CEOs directly! Foxes guarding the henhouse…count on it.

  6. Steven says:

    As I remember, Bush 41 had the fast food industry reclassified as “manufacturing” because well, burgers are “assembled”. Overnight, “manufacturing” jobs increased, duh.

    I don’t pretend to know Elon’s personal political leanings, and I’m not sure I want to know.
    But I can say this, he’ll have more influence in the inside, than the outside.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Yup. Anyone with half a brain knows, “keep your friends close, your enemies closer”.

  7. Mark C says:

    I think Elon Musks presence on the council will at some point make better inroads to opening up the American market to Tesla.

    Alternatively, there’s always fighting almost EVERY state, one by one just to legally sell Tesla vehicles.

  8. Loboc says:

    NADA needs to be sued as a monopoly.

  9. Roy_H says:

    “Many Americans and U.S. companies also have grave concerns that, although jobs will come back to the country, and much less will be outsourced, and imports will slow, the financial burden will fall on American citizens. Without the ties to “cheaper” labor and products, someone has to pay for it. One way that the Trump administration hopes to help is by cutting the corporate tax rate. This way, the money can come back into the U.S. economy.”

    someone has to pay for it .. Suggesting that reduced corporate taxes solves this is ludicrous. Yes if corporations save money on taxes they may pass some of that saving on to consumers via lower prices, but the government has to make up for the lost income, from where? The average American Taxpayer of course! So your extra taxes will go partly to keeping prices down and partly to increased dividends for shareholders.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      If Trump gets the evolving plutocracy America is becoming, the Democrats will have a harder time catching up. He will both enrich the rich, and raise their costs. I wouldn’t wager he sees corp taxes as a panacea. The ways he gets away with being a Democrat, under a Republican flag may be his “8 year” strategy.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Roy_H said:

      “Yes if corporations save money on taxes they may pass some of that saving on to consumers via lower prices, but the government has to make up for the lost income, from where? The average American Taxpayer of course!”

      Indeed. Instead of “trickle down” economics, we have “gushing up” economics, with more and more of the income of the middle class and working poor being diverted to the 1%-ers.

      And of course, the Trumpsters will only accelerate this process. For example, the new Cabinet is composed almost entirely of millionaires and billionaires.

  10. Koenigsegg says:

    That ford CEO is a scumbag. **** that guy