Biden Administration Ready to Call Tesla’s Elon Musk for Chip Shortage Help

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has said she would be open to input from Elon Musk on how to better navigate the ongoing chip shortage affecting the automotive industry, even though President Joe Biden has snubbed Tesla and its CEO time and again — reports Bloomberg.

President Biden’s Build Back Better plan locks Tesla out of the full $12,500 USD in tax credit offered for electric vehicle (EV) purchases, and he has repeatedly refrained from acknowledging Tesla’s contributions and efforts in the EV space.

It has gotten to the point where a petition urging the U.S. President to “acknowledge Tesla” has garnered over 50,000 signatures.

What’s more, the White House has continually failed to invite Tesla to events concerning the U.S. EV industry, going as far as to laud General Motors and Ford Motor Co. as “EV leaders” while making no mention of Tesla, which led global electric car sales (by a significant margin) last year with a record 936,222 deliveries.

“None of this is personal,” Raimondo said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday. “These issues are way too important for anyone to have, you know, feelings hurt. Like – let’s just do the work. And as I said, anyone who has good ideas or is willing to help us, absolutely we want the help.”

Raimondo said she believes Tesla has managed its semiconductor supply chain better than any other automaker amidst global constraints, while the rest of the industry has been knocked down more than once. Veteran Detroit automakers, she said, were still “learning quickly” about how to operate semiconductor supply chains.

The Commerce Secretary also claimed she did not know of a policy within the Biden administration that would prevent her from soliciting advice from Tesla on the matter.

The cause of the bad blood between Musk and President Biden is the Tesla CEO’s documented opposition to unionization in the auto manufacturing industry, a person “familiar with the president’s thinking” told Bloomberg.

When the White House excluded Musk from a meeting with auto industry CEOs, including the heads of GM and Ford, last week, the Tesla founder had some choice words for President Biden.

Earlier this week, the White House finally recognized Tesla’s efforts in the EV space. President Joe Biden, however, is yet to mention the company or its CEO by name.