November 21, 2018 / 7:36 PM / a year ago

German car bosses invited to White House to discuss tariffs - Handelsblatt

FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen logos are pictured during the media day of the Salao do Automovel International Auto Show in Sao Paulo, Brazil November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - The Trump administration has invited the heads of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), BMW (BMWG.DE) and Daimler (DAIGn.DE) to the White House to discuss U.S. tariffs on carmakers, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Citing industry and diplomatic sources, the paper said the meeting could possibly take place as soon as next week, depending on circumstances. Handelsblatt said it was not known whether U.S. President Donald Trump would attend the meeting.

A spokesman for Volkswagen declined to confirm or deny whether the carmaker had received an invitation. Sources close to VW said it had not received an invitation.

Daimler and BMW did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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

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

Reporting by Caroline Copley and Jan Schwartz; additional reporting by Roberta Rampton in Washington; Editing by Adrian Croft

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