The Trump administration has refused to spare Tesla Inc. from tariffs of 25% levied on the China-made computer “brain” and large center screen used on its Model 3 electric car.
The denials were made in two May 29 letters from the U.S. Trade Representative’s general counsel responding to requests for relief by the California-based electric car manufacturer and its supplier of the Model 3’s center touchscreen, through which users control navigation, media and other vehicle systems.
In its request to USTR, Tesla called the computer the “brains” of the Model 3 and said increased tariffs on the component would cause the company economic harm through higher costs and “impact to profitability.”
The exemption requests were denied because the Model 3 components in question are “strategically important or related to ‘Made in China 2025’ or other Chinese industrial programs,” the USTR letters said.
Tesla had no immediate comment when contacted Thursday.