Elon Musk and Javier Milei share their love of free markets in first assembly

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for freeRoula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favorite tales on this weekly publication.Argentina’s libertarian president Javier Milei and Tesla chief govt Elon Musk met for the primary time on Friday, cementing a social media friendship between two firebrand free-market proponents identified for railing in opposition to authorities over-reach and progressive cultural values.The pair, who’ve traded supportive messages over the previous yr on Musk’s X platform, met at Tesla’s manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas, and mentioned “the necessity to liberate markets” and “the significance of eliminating bureaucratic obstacles that hold traders away”, based on a press release from Milei’s office.Gerardo Werthein, Argentina’s ambassador to the US who attended the assembly with Musk, advised Argentine media that the pair had additionally “mentioned funding alternatives” for Tesla in lithium, the metallic essential to electrical car batteries, of which Argentina has a number of the world’s largest reserves. Milei, a libertarian economist and former tv pundit, gained an sudden election victory in November on a pledge to slash spending and decrease inflation. He has since courted a various vary of figures aligned with the worldwide proper, from techno-libertarian Musk to former US president Donald Trump and Brazil’s far-right former chief Jair Bolsonaro.Conferences with such figures in latest months have delighted Milei’s home base, as have fiery speeches defending free market beliefs on the World Financial Discussion board in January and on the Conservative Political Motion Convention in February, casting him into the worldwide highlight.Final September Musk shared an interview with Milei by former Fox News journalist Tucker Carlson, and later celebrated his election victory, saying “prosperity is forward for Argentina”.Milei is a prolific person of X, telling the Monetary Occasions in February that he spends “two or three hours a day” on Musk’s platform and different social media.In addition to a defence of free market values, Milei and Musk have expressed related support for Israel in its battle in opposition to Hamas in Gaza — with each travelling to the nation to fulfill Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in latest months. Every additionally has a tense relationship with some leftist governments.Milei, who labelled Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva “corrupt” on the marketing campaign path, “provided [Musk] collaboration within the battle that social community X is having in Brazil”. Final week the corporate criticised Brazilian judges’ orders for it to censor “sure well-liked accounts”. On Sunday Musk, who declares himself a “free speech absolutist”, referred to as for a Brazilian supreme court docket justice to “resign or be impeached”. Brazil’s attorney-general then referred to as for “pressing regulation” of social media platforms, together with X. It’s unclear how Milei’s help would possibly have an effect on the dispute.Opposition politicians in Argentina have criticised Milei’s journey to the US — his third since his election in November — as “private”, and a distraction from his busy home agenda.Earlier than assembly Musk, the president, who has expressed a religious curiosity in Judaism, travelled to Miami, the place he was honoured as “a global ambassador of sunshine” by a Jewish group group for his help of Israel.Again in Argentina, Milei’s La Libertad Avanza coalition confronted a political disaster in congress on Friday, with three lawmakers breaking from the bloc following a dispute with the president’s high advisers, which is able to shrink his already tiny minority of 41 out of 257 seats within the decrease home.But Milei appeared jubilant in pictures he shared on X of his assembly with Musk, captioned along with his catchphrase: “lengthy stay freedom dammit!”Musk additionally posted an image of the 2 collectively, with the caption: “To an thrilling & inspiring future!”The president’s workplace mentioned he and Musk had agreed to carry “a big occasion quickly in Argentina to advertise the concepts of freedom”.

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