Casual observers might never expect from President-elect Donald Trump and businessman Elon Musk to be on the same side of many issues. Elon Musk is the CEO of auto maker Tesla Motors and aerospace giant SpaceX and chairman of solar energy magnate SolarCity. While Trump thinks that climate change is a cocktail of illogical conclusions, Musk has built his career around similar concepts. The two men have much in common.
What Do President-elect Trump and Elon Musk Have in Common?
These two men may seem to be polar opposites except for their vast wealth. According to Forbes Magazine, Musk is the 83rd wealthiest man alive while Donald Trump is the 111th wealthiest person in the United States. The magazine also ranks Trump as the second most powerful person on Earth while they rank Musk the 27th most powerful.
Both men have placed a strong emphasis on creating or returning manufacturing jobs to the United States. Before he even took office, President-elect Trump has been credited with preventing air-conditioning and heating company Carrier from moving jobs overseas. He is also credited with encouraging car manufacturers to not move their production to Mexico.
“ To the extent that the creation of high-tech manufacturing jobs in the United States is a priority of the incoming administration, we believe Mr. Musk might have some interests that could be very much in alignment with those of President-elect Trump,”
said investment analyst Adam Jones from the financial advising company Morgan Stanley.
Tesla Motors currently produces the most American-made electric cars. The Model S currently leads Musk’s offerings, but look for that to be overtaken by Model 3 within a year. Donald Trump is an outspoken proponent of making America great again and experts say Tesla cars are the greatest electric automobiles made today.
Musk has started his career with technology ventures. Shortly after his election, President-elect Trump surprised his opponents by hosting a meeting of tech giants. He named IBM’s CEO Ginny Rometty to his transition advisory team and plans to make her join his exclusive business advisory team once he gets into office. Despite Musk’s outspoken opposition to Trump during the election, the president-elect appointed him to his Strategic and Policy Forum team to help him draft his policies once he is sworn in.
President-elect Trump has sent Vice President-elect Mike Pence to a revived National Space Council. This clearly signals the president’s interest in moving forward America’s extraterrestrial agenda. Trump suggested he is very interested in partnerships between the private and public sectors in the space industry. Musk’s SpaceX may greatly benefit from these partnerships.
While many assume that Tesla boss and President-elect Trump may not agree on solar industry, insiders within the industry say that they believe they can change Trump’s mind. They think that they can show the President-elect how solar energy can boost national security, which has been one of Trump’s primary concerns coming into office. The industry also claims they can prove they can create many high-paying jobs, which is another of the President-elect’s main goals.
Both men have a history of working hard to make things happen. President-elect Trump took a small investment from his father and turned it into a megacorporation. Musk was born in South Africa. He took the risk of starting his own company selling it for lots of money in his twenties.
Many would expect business magnate Elon Musk and President-elect Trump to not share many interests. Upon further examination, the two actually share a lot including a common background of starting out small and making it big. Both are interested in building great American companies and providing high-paying jobs. Both share an interest in making America’s space program great.
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