The company says some required parts are only available from manufacturers in China.
In July, President Trump increased tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods. These import duties were a response to " theft of intellectual property and unfair trade practices." The administration plans for a second round of tariffs in August. China has retaliated with duties on U.S. goods and more are likely to come.
In a July 31st letter, The Boring Company asked the U.S. Trade Representative to exempt certain parts from tariffs. Ashley Steinberg of The Boring Company (TBC) asked for exemptions on "cutterheads, screw conveyors and related support machinery." According to the letter:
Although whole tunnel boring machines are available from sellers outside China, certain constituent parts of these machines are readily available only from China. To advance our privately funded infrastructure projects, TBC seeks to source these limited parts from China in the near-term for use in a small number of tunnel boring machines.
The company plans to offer autonomous electric vehicles traveling between Washington and Baltimore. Several other projects are in the works that would allow for high-speed underground travel between cities or major landmarks. TBC states that most equipment is sourced from the United States. However, certain parts must be obtained from China due to availability.
While founder Elon Musk has previously called on Donald Trump to address the unfair business practices in China, an escalating trade war is not the solution he had in mind.
Of course, TBC is far from the only company that has taken issue with the administration on trade. General Motors has also asked for exemption for the Buick Envision or the vehicle would be pulled from the U.S. market.
According to the request by TBC, additional import duties would result in construction delays and job losses. Construction delays of 12 - 24 months could occur if an exemption is not granted.