BERLIN (Reuters) – The heads of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), BMW (BMWG.DE) and Daimler (DAIGn.DE) are able to attend a gathering on the White Home with the Trump administration, however haven’t but obtained a proper invitation, business sources mentioned on Thursday.
FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen logos are pictured in the course of the media day of the Salao do Automovel Worldwide Auto Present in Sao Paulo, Brazil November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photograph
The Handelsblatt newspaper on Wednesday cited business and diplomatic sources as saying the assembly may probably happen as quickly as subsequent week. The paper mentioned it was not identified whether or not U.S. President Donald Trump would attend the assembly.
“It’s clear that the assembly is deliberate, and that the CEOs will attend,” mentioned one business supply.
A second business supply confirmed plans for a gathering in Washington, however mentioned particulars have been nonetheless being labored out and the CEOs would clarify they may not negotiate on behalf of the European Union.
Trump has threatened for months to impose tariffs on all European Union-assembled autos, a transfer that might up-end the business’s enterprise mannequin for promoting automobiles in the US.
However he has avoided imposing automobile tariffs whereas the US and European Union launch negotiations to chop different commerce boundaries.
Sources on the carmakers mentioned no formal invitation had been obtained and no journey preparations had been made. They mentioned the assembly may happen at brief discover, probably subsequent week.
The businesses declined to remark publicly.
A German authorities spokesman mentioned the chancellery was accustomed to the concept of such a gathering, however mentioned European Union officers have been answerable for all commerce negotiations.
One business supply mentioned the invitation put the businesses in an ungainly place, given the EU’s duty for commerce issues. On the identical time, they didn’t need to flip down the chance to have interaction in dialogue.
“What issues is that we discover a resolution,” mentioned one supply, including that it was crucial for the German automobile business to take care of entry to the U.S. market, the second largest behind China.
Bernd Westpahl, enterprise coverage spokesman for the Social Democrats, junior companions within the German coalition authorities, mentioned the invitation supplied a chance to make progress.
“It’s a good – and maybe the final – alternative to persuade the U.S. president to again away from punitive tariffs,” he mentioned.
Handelsblatt mentioned Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, had relayed the invitation to the automobile corporations. Grenell additionally met with the German automobile bosses in July.
An embassy spokesman referred all inquiries to the White Home. No instant response was accessible, given the U.S. Thanksgiving Day vacation.
The USA presently imposes tariffs on automobiles of two.5 %, in comparison with 10 % tariffs within the EU.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal, Jan Schwartz, Andreas Rinke and Rene Wagner. Enhancing by Jane Merriman