German auto executives meet with Trump amid tariff threat

Top executives from three major German automakers met with President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE on Tuesday at the White House amid the president's threats to impose new tariffs on European cars.

The White House said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche and BMW's chief financial officer, Nicolas Peter, were among the executives to meet with Trump.

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The meeting was not mentioned on the president's public schedule.

“President Trump met with three German automakers today," White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters said in a statement.

"The President shared his vision of all automakers producing in the United States and creating a more friendly business environment," she added. "Members of the President’s Cabinet and economic team also met individually with each of the three companies.”

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters on Monday the meeting did not signal the Trump administration "is moving towards car tariffs," but was instead designed to encourage German automakers to invest and manufacture more in the U.S.

Trump threatened to slap tariffs on European cars after General Motors announced it would shutter several plants and slash thousands of jobs in North America, citing slow sales of cars and electric vehicles.

— This report was updated at 3:20 p.m.