Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Top executives from Germany’s leading car brands are in Washington D.C. hoping to deter potential tariffs on U.S. imports of luxury cars.
C-suite bosses from Daimler AG, BMW AG and the Volkswagen Group have been summoned to Washington to meet White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow to discuss U.S. efforts to significantly slash imports of luxury cars from Europe.
The White House’s demand to meet German car bosses comes despite the fact it is the European Commission that formally handles trade negotiations on behalf of the European Union.
German car bosses are trying to get on Trump’s good side by revealing plans to increase the proportion of components produced in the United States. Volkswagen will reiterate it ‘s looking to expand its U.S. manufacturing capacity to include electric cars.
German carmakers are among the largest net exporters of vehicles to and from the United States. BMW and Mercedes build most of their SUVs in U.S. plants and import luxury limousines built in Germany to America.
BMW has its largest global car factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina. VW has a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee while Mercedes builds cars in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The German car bosses will not try to negotiate international trade policy, but they will ensure that the people in Washington have the same understanding about the impact of their policies as the mayor of Chattanooga.
Around 10,000 local jobs depend on each model built in Chattanooga, said Mayor Andy Berke.
Trump warned German carmakers in 2017 he might impose a 35 percent tax on vehicles imported to the United States unless there was a “rebalancing” of trade.
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