Elon Musk Cultivates Ties with Right-Wing Leaders to Boost Business

Elon Musk has built relationships with right-wing leaders, including Argentina's Javier Milei, Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, and India's Narendra Modi, to advance his business interests. Musk has used his social media platform to promote these leaders and their views, and has secured benefits for his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, in their countries.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Elon Musk Cultivates Ties with Right-Wing Leaders to Boost Business

Elon Musk Cultivates Ties with Right-Wing Leaders to Boost Business

Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has been actively building relationships with right-wing leaders around the world, including Argentina's Javier Milei, Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, and India's Narendra Modi. These connections appear to be driven by Musk's desire to advance his business interests and promote his political views.

Why this matters: The intersection of business and politics can have far-reaching consequences, as seen in Musk's ability to influence policy decisions in favor of his companies. As Musk'sglobal influence grows, his relationships with world leaders will be closely watched for potential implications on the global economy and political landscape.

In Argentina, Musk has used his social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to boost newly elected President Javier Milei. After Milei's victory in November, Musk posted, "Prosperity is ahead for Argentina." He has since shared videos of Milei attacking "social justice" with his 182 million followers, including a doctored image implying that watching a Milei speech was better than sex. Offline, Musk has leveraged the relationship to press for benefits for Tesla and SpaceX, particularly regarding lithium, a critical component in electric vehicle batteries. Argentina has the world's second-largest lithium reserves, and Milei is pushing for major benefits for international miners.

Musk has repeatedly used X to vocally support right-wing politicians, backing their views on gender, praising their opposition to socialism, and aggressively confronting their enemies. In Brazil, he intervened in X's content policies to aid former President Jair Bolsonaro, according to two former employees. This move coincided with securing a major new market for SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet service in the country.

In India, Musk has fostered ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has nearly 98 million followers on X. Musk secured lower import tariffs for Tesla vehicles in the potentially massive Indian market. Modi has eagerly promoted Musk's endorsement as a validation of his policies and popularity, stating in a televised interview, "People are coming and they are trusting me."

Musk's politics have long been guided by his business interests, according to five former Tesla and SpaceX executives. He has built alliances with various world leaders to advance his personal politics and companies, including President Barack Obama, French President Emmanuel Macron, and China's Xi Jinping. When asked if he was becoming more political, Musk said in a November podcast, "I guess if you consider fighting the woke mind virus, which I consider to be a civilizational threat, to be political, then yes."

Musk's endorsement has given many nationalist and right-wing heads of state more international cachet, which they have eagerly promoted as a validation of their policies and popularity. As Musk continues to navigate the complex landscape of global politics and business, his relationships with controversial leaders are likely to remain in the spotlight.

Key Takeaways

  • Elon Musk builds relationships with right-wing leaders to advance business interests and political views.
  • Musk uses social media to promote leaders, such as Argentina's Javier Milei and India's Narendra Modi.
  • He leverages relationships to secure benefits for Tesla and SpaceX, like lithium access in Argentina.
  • Musk's politics are guided by business interests, with alliances with various world leaders.
  • His endorsements give nationalist leaders international cachet, boosting their popularity.