German auto CEOs willing to attend White House meeting

Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler logo

The bosses of Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler are ready to join a meeting at the White House with the Trump administration, but have not yet received an official invitation, industry sources stated on Thursday.

The Handelsblatt newspaper on Wednesday mentioned industry and diplomatic sources as stating the meeting could possibly take place as soon as upcoming week. The paper stated it was not aware if U.S. President Donald Trump would attend the meeting.

“It’s clear that the meeting is planned, and that the CEOs will attend,” stated one other industry source.

A second industry source verified plans for a meeting in Washington, but said information was still being worked out and the CEOs would make clear they could not negotiate on behalf of the European Union.

Trump has threatened for months to enforce tariffs on all European Union-assembled automobiles, a move that could up-end the industry’s business model for selling vehicles in the United States.

But he has refrained from enforcing car tariffs while the United States and European Union introduce negotiations to cut other trade barriers.

Sources at the automakers stated no official invitation had been received and no travel arrangements had been made. They stated the meeting could occur at short notice, possibly next week.

The companies refused to discuss publicly.

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