Biden wishes Elon Musk ‘luck’ on moon trip after job cut plans

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Delaware, June 3 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden compared Tesla (TSLA.O) unfavorably to Ford (FN) on Friday, while sarcastically wishing CEO Elon Musk “good luck” on his “trip to the moon” after the billionaire expressed reservations about the economy.

Musk wrote in an email to executives that he had a ‘super bad feeling’ about the US economy and needed to cut about 10% of jobs at the electric car maker, Reuters reported earlier. Friday. Read more

Asked by Reuters about Musk’s comments, Biden suggested the problem may be with Tesla.

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“While Elon Musk talks about it, Ford is massively increasing its investments,” Biden said. “Ford is increasing investment and building new electric vehicles. Six thousand new employees, union employees, I might add, in the Midwest.” Read more

“So, you know, very lucky for his trip to the moon,” he added.

Musk replied on Twitter: “Thank you Mr President!” with a link referring to NASA’s April 2021 award of a $2.9 billion contract to Musk’s SpaceX to build a spacecraft to bring astronauts to the moon.

It’s not the first salty exchange between the 79-year-old commander-in-chief, who admits to an occasional Irish temper, and 50-year-old South African-born Musk, who became the world’s richest man as a as a serial entrepreneur but turned his attention to American political debates and a takeover of Twitter.

Biden has made electric vehicles (EVs) the centerpiece of a plan to make the United States a manufacturing powerhouse, compete with China and thwart climate change. But he paid much more attention to Musk’s unionized competitors in Detroit. Read more

Musk frequently tweeted harshly at the president, complaining about the lack of recognition and criticizing Biden’s union-focused, grant-heavy approach to building the electric vehicle market.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the monthly U.S. jobs report, at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, U.S., June 3, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Musk said last month that he would no longer vote for members of Biden’s Democratic Party because they have “become the party of division and hatred.”

He promised to restore former Republican President Donald Trump’s access to Twitter (TWTR.N) after he acquired the social media platform.

Tesla delivered results beyond Wall Street forecasts in April, after raising prices to stave off inflationary pressures stalking the auto industry. Read more

Shares fell more than 8% on Friday after Reuters released the report on Musk’s email amid fears the CEO’s remarks could signal trouble ahead. On Tuesday, Musk said workers who don’t report to the office for 40 hours a week will be fired.

Ahead of Biden’s comment on Musk, the president had just delivered his own speech touting stronger-than-expected U.S. job growth in May and dismissing criticism of his handling of inflation, which sits near its highest level in 40 years. Read more

But he warned that job growth could slow in the coming months as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to calm inflation.

“We probably won’t see the kind of month-over-month hit employment reports like we had last year,” he said. “But it’s a good thing. It’s a sign of a healthy economy.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) Chairman Jamie Dimon said this week that “you need to be prepared” for an economic “hurricane” to come. Read more

Other executives and analysts, however, said the strength of the U.S. labor market, consumer savings and robust demand could help the economy achieve a “soft landing” toward more sustainable growth at low levels. lower following a rapid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Heather Timmons, Nick Zieminski and Marguerita Choy

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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