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Trump Meets with German Car Executives Amid Tariff Threats


Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, center, accompanied by chief lobbyist Thomas Steg, center right, speaks to reporters as they arrive for a meeting with Trump administration officials at the White House complex in Washington, Dec. 4, 2018.

President Donald Trump met with executives from three top German carmakers at the White House Tuesday as all sides hope to avoid a European trade war.

The White House says Trump "shared his vision of all automakers producing in the United States and creating a more friendly business environment."

The statement gave no other details on the talks with executives from BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen.

But in an earlier tweet, Trump called himself "a tariff man."

Trump had threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks, and auto parts, bringing the threat of retaliation by the European Union.

But both sides have backed down for now, agreeing to hold talks instead.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says a huge chunk of the trade deficit with Europe comes from German car imports.

Ross told CNBC television that German car factories are operating at capacity and urges the automakers to move some of their production to the U.S.

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