Mnuchin: ‘I agree with Elon Musk’ on ultimatum to California

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday offered his support to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has threatened to move his company out of California if it is not allowed to resume production amid coronavirus-related restrictions.

“I agree with Elon Musk. He is one of the biggest employers and manufacturers in California, and California should prioritize doing whatever they need to do to solve those health issues so that he can open quickly and safely, or they’re going to find, as he’s threatened, he’s moving his production to a different state,” Mnuchin said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

Musk has been a vocal critic of lockdown measures in California, which he has called “de facto house arrest.”

Musk said Saturday he would sue a San Francisco-area county after Alameda County Health Officer Erica Pan said it will ask Tesla to hold off on reopening. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has rolled out guidance for reopening manufacturing sites but said local officials would have broader leeway to maintain some local restrictions.

“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk tweeted. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future.”

California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D) responded to the post by tweeting “F*ck Elon Musk.”

“California has highly subsidized a company that has always disregarded worker safety & well-being, has engaged in union busting & bullies public servants,” she added in a subsequent tweet. “I probably could’ve expressed my frustration in a less aggressive way. Of course, no one would’ve cared if I tweeted that.”

Tags Elon Musk Gavin Newsom Steven Mnuchin

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