Home » How a Trump re-election could favor Elon Musk in his fights with U.S. regulators

How a Trump re-election could favor Elon Musk in his fights with U.S. regulators

by NBC News

Few people have more riding on the 2024 presidential election than tech magnate Elon Musk. 

Musk, the world’s wealthiest person, is waging at least 11 separate regulatory or legal battles with the Biden administration or independent federal agencies related to his sprawling business empire, according to a tally by NBC News. If those fights extend into next year and former President Donald Trump returns to the White House, Musk would be likely to gain from relaxed enforcement, experts in regulatory law said in interviews. 

The 11 ongoing battles, which involve seven government entities, touch on a wide array of subjects, from unions to vehicle safety to privacy on the social media app X. 

“He would be in much less trouble in a Trump administration because Trump shares his hostility to regulation and regulators,” said Richard Pierce, a law professor at George Washington University specializing in government regulation. 

Trump has repeatedly said on the campaign trail that he wants to slash government regulations, and experts said in interviews that they expect he would appoint regulators who would bring a light touch to investigating Musk’s companies. 

“A second Trump term could very well shift the administrative and regulatory state in ways that would benefit Musk’s companies,” said Angela Aneiros, an assistant professor of law at Gonzaga University and a co-director of the university’s Center of Law, Ethics & Commerce. 

“A second term, if it happens, will result in federal agencies’ shifting their focus away from investigations into regulatory compliance issues,” she said. Instead, she said, the focus of a Trump return would most likely be different priorities, such as immigration enforcement. 

Representatives for Musk did not respond to a request for comment. His companies have denied wrongdoing and his lawyers have accused regulators of targeting Musk for harassment.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment. President…

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