November 23, 2018 / 1:32 PM / 6 months ago

White House meeting with German car bosses likely next week: source

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., before his departure to California, November 17, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/Files

BERLIN (Reuters) - A meeting between the U.S. administration and the heads of German carmakers Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler to discuss trade policy will likely take place mid next week, a source close to the matter said.

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

But he has refrained from such a move while Washington and Brussels launch talks to cut other trade barriers.

The White House has extended an invitation through the U.S. Embassy in Berlin for a meeting with Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the source said.

No other representatives from European companies or the EU are believed to have been invited to the meeting, the source said.

The White House was not immediately available to comment outside regular office hours. Volkswagen and Daimler declined to comment, while BMW was not immediately available for comment.

The CEOs would make clear they could not negotiate on behalf of the EU, people close to the matter said earlier this week.

The United States currently imposes import tariffs on cars of 2.5 percent, compared with 10 percent tariffs in the EU.

Reporting by Tom Sims; Writing by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Mark Potter

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