5685 U.S. willing to work with Musk, Tesla on microchip shortage despite Biden snubs

U.S. willing to work with Musk, Tesla on microchip shortage despite Biden snubs

WASHINGTON — Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said she would be willing to consult Elon Musk on how to improve semiconductor supply chain shortages impacting the auto industry, despite President Joe Biden’s repeated snubs of the Tesla Inc. founder.

“None of this is personal,” Raimondo said in an interview Thursday with CNBC. “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 that she believed Tesla had better navigated the chip shortage that has badly impacted auto manufacturing because of its origins as a technology company, while traditional Detroit automakers were still “learning quickly” about how to manage semiconductor supply chains.

The Commerce Secretary also downplayed animosity between Biden and Musk, saying she did not know of a policy within the administration that would preclude her from soliciting advice from Tesla.

Musk in recent weeks has tweeted his frustration with Biden over White House events highlighting EV efforts by companies like General Motors and the Ford Motor Co.

Biden’s reluctance to recognize Tesla is rooted in Musk’s opposition to autoworker unions, a person familiar with the president’s thinking told Bloomberg.

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