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Elon Musk's Boring Company could face delays due to US trade war with China

Telegraph Reporters
Elon Musk came up with the idea for the Boring Company in 2016 while he was stuck in traffic in LA - AFP
Elon Musk came up with the idea for the Boring Company in 2016 while he was stuck in traffic in LA - AFP

Elon Musk's Boring Company has asked the US Government to drop planned levies on imports of certain Chinese parts, claiming that they could harm its business.

Musk launched the Boring Company in 2016 after becoming frustrated by traffic congestion in Los Angeles. The firm plans to build tunnels beneath major cities to speed up transport links for commuters. 

It has already won a bid to develop a tunnel in Chicago and is planning to build another from Washington to Maryland. However, in a letter seen by Bloomberg, the firm said that US tariffs on Chinese imports would slow down construction projects because of the impact on key components.

The firm  is one of a variety companies affected by a looming trade war between the US and China with Washington DC planning to slap a 25pc tariff on $200bn worth of Chinese goods. Economists have warned that a currency war will be inevitable if the US goes through with its proposal.

The changes, which were first imposed on $34bn of Chinese imports in July, have increased during an ongoing standoff between Donald Trump and China's president Xi Jinping.

On Thursday, the Boring Company announced its latest project: a plan to build a zero-emissions, underground public transport system in Los Angeles called the "Dugout Loop".

Why Donald Trump's trade blitz on China marks a role reversal in the post-Cold War order

The system, which would go from the Los Feliz or Rampart Village in East Hollywood to the Dodger Stadium, aims to reduce traffic in the city by transporting people to the stadium in under four minutes.

The fares are not finalised but will cost around $1. 

Market analysts believe a trade war between the US and China could trigger a 15pc depreciation in the Chinese Yuan.

Low level talks between the two countries are due to take place in Washington later this month, but a breakthrough seems unlikely.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative released the project exclusion process for Chinese products last month, and stated that it would allow exemptions to be requested until the start of October.

 

The Boring Company is one of Mr Musk's main ventures, alongside his roles as CEO and founder of electric car company Tesla and space exploration venture SpaceX. He has been under intense media scrutiny following a series of public tweets about taking Tesla private, which triggered an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In an interview with the New York Times on Thursday, Musk said he was suffering the effects of the most painful year of his career, breaking down multiple times during an emotional interview with the New York Times and admitting that his responsibilities were taking a personal toll.

Musk has long delighted in his reputation as one of Silicon Valley’s brashest entrepreneurs but admitted exhaustion was taking its toll.